Penny nervously tapped her feet as she sat in the waiting area of the ER. Biting her bottom lip and shivering slightly, she wished she had thought to grab her hoodie from the backseat of her car before coming in. Her standard tank top and shorts combo wasn't doing much to shield her from the frigid air of the room.
As she waited, she discreetly checked out the few people scattered throughout in the hard plastic chairs.
To her left was a young couple taking turns rocking a miserable looking toddler. His little nose was red and dried tear tracks stained his face that was flushed with fever.
Next to the vending machine was a tremendously obese man with an oxygen mask on in a wheelchair. Despite his obvious health issues, he purchased three honeybuns from the machine and ate them in record time.
Diagonally across from her was a woman who looked to be in her early forties. Next to her was a teenage boy with a huge purple bruise on his forehead that he was holding an icepack to. Penny noticed the boy staring in her direction smirking. Curious Penny glanced down and noticed her girls were standing at attention due to the cold air.
Ugh! Penny shot him a nasty look and crossed her arms tightly over her chest.
I swear, she thought, if someone doesn't come out soon and give me some answers I am going to raise holy he-
"Family of Sheldon Cooper?" a strong feminine voice called out. Penny looked up to see a tall African American woman with clear cocoa skin, and the most perfect teeth she had ever seen standing by the registration desk.
"Yes! I'm with Sheldon!" Penny said popping out of her seat. "I mean, I am family...well, technically he's my friend...and neighbor...".
"Ah, yes, well I am Dr. Shepard and I have been overseeing Dr. Cooper's care", she explained. "As Dr. Cooper is under heavy medication, I haven't been able to get a clear answer, but I must ask - what happened?"
Penny sighed as she thought back to earlier in the day.
"Well, I guess technically -ok totally - it was all my fault", she started unhappily.
Earlier the same day...
"Penny, Penny, Penny".
Penny Nichols (great joke her parents played on her - NOT) sighed and glanced to her right at the uptight physicist who was a passenger in her car.
"YES Moonpie?", she said through gritted teeth.
He frowned. "Well first and foremost, only Meemaw is permitted to call me Moonpie."
"Yeah? And what else Moonpiiiiiiie?"
His scowl deepend. "Secondly, I have previously forewarned you about the check engine light on your car. Had you heeded my warnings we wouldn't be in our current predicament."
Their current predicament being broken down on the side of the interstate, Penny became even more annoyed considering WHY they were out there.
"You were the one who insisted I take you to the farmer's market 30 minutes past the one near home because the redness of their apples are more aesthetically pleasing, and now you have a nerve to complain because my car stalled out?!"
"Simple regular maintenance could have preven-"
"Ugh!" He was cut off by Penny getting out of the car and slamming the door.
"Well that was just plain rude." He tentatively stepped out of the car, careful of the shallow ditch about 5' deep just beyond the guardrail next to his door.
Penny lifted the hood up on her old car and began fiddling around with various things under the hood.
"What do you think you're doing?"
"I'm trying to see what the problem is, fix it, and get back home to a nice cold glass of zinfandel."
"But what about the farmer's market?"
"SCREW the farmer's market."
Sheldon looked slightly taken aback by her harsh language, but then his face took on a haughty and superior look.
"You know Penny, had you simply heeded my earlier warnings, and not relied on your backwoods cornhusker sensibility, you would see improvement in multiple areas of your life. Not only your car, but your career, your education, your finances, and your housekeeping could all stand a major upgrade."
At that exact moment Penny literally felt what little self-restraint she had left snap. She whirled around and faced him, her pointer finger jabbing into his chest. Sheldon gulped in fear at the dark look in her eyes.
"Listen here egghead, I've had entirely enough of your condescending, know-it-all attitude!" she shouted pushing him back with each poke of her finger.
"You think just because you're super smart it makes you better than everyone else, or that it excuses you from being a complete and total ass? Well it doesn't!"she raged backing him up further.
"You put me down, you make me feel stupid, and quite honestly it's times like this that make me not even want to be friends with you!"
Penny saw a flash of hurt in Sheldon's blue eyes before he fell from her sight.
What the hell?
That's when she noticed the deep ditch that she had just unknowingly backed him into.
"Oh my God, Sheldon!" True fear gripped her heart as she scrambled to the edge to look for him.
His face was bright red and grimaced in extreme pain as he clutched his right leg.
"Hhhelp me Penny...", he uttered before he blacked out.