I died today.
I thought that there would be much more fanfare – a "big bang" if you will.
But no, nothing special, no all-encompassing light. Or, if you believed my mother, an ethereal stairway to heaven.
I just died.
And now the world is significantly less intelligent without the great mind of Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper.
I suppose I should start at the beginning…
"Leonard, please hurry! If we do not step outside of this apartment in precisely 47 seconds we will be late!"
"Yeah, yeah, his highness mustn't be kept waiting," Leonard grumbled shutting down his laptop and grabbing his car keys.
"Leonard, while your intelligence is not on the same level as mine, even you know that I have never been bequeathed with any degree of a royal title," I stated.
Leonard froze, dumbfounded. "Seriously?"
"Leonard, I would never joke about monarchal matters."
Leonard just shook his head and continued heading out the door.
"Speaking of monarchies, did you know that in 1582…" I began.
"Ughhhh!" could be heard going down the staircase.
My little social group and I made it to our destination, the Cheesecake Factory, with minutes to spare.
"Made it right on time!" I exclaimed with glee.
"On time for what?" Howard laughed.
"On time to be here at our regular time of course."
"So what would happen if we were say, 11 minutes late?"
My face started to twitch at the thought and I opened my mouth to respond.
"Hey guys! Ready to order?" a perky Penny interrupted.
"Thank God," Howard said under his breath to Raj who giggled softly.
"Ah Penny, yes, I will have my usual. A barbeque bacon cheeseburger – barbeque, bacon and cheese on the side with a lemonade."
Penny took down everyone else's order and hurried of to put them in. She came back quickly with their drinks, smiling brilliantly at them as she set them down.
Leonard spoke up "Penny what's up? You seem to be in a really good mood for a work night."
Penny was glad someone finally asked – she was bursting to share her news.
"You guys will never guess – I got an acting job!" she blurted out.
"Penny, that's not fair. We did not get a chance to guess." I stated.
"Ignore him," said Leonard "Congratulations!" Howard and Raj echoed his sentiments.
"Thanks so much. It's a very small part on CSI. I work in the forensics lab and don't really say much of anything, but the potential is endless!" she exclaimed breathlessly.
"Wow! I love CSI. Me and Ma watch it every week and try to pinpoint to killer before the detectives do." Howard said. "So you're really gonna have a chance to work with all of those great actors?"
"Yep!" she smiled. "The director is actually throwing a small get together for the cast and crew this Friday evening aaaaand, I can bring friends – so you guys wanna come?"
*mute thumbs up*
"No thank you."
Everyone turned to look at me.
"Sheldon, buddy, this is a chance of a lifetime! How often do we get an opportunity to go mingle with celebrities?" Leonard said.
"You all got to go have ice cream with Stan Lee," I pointed out glaring at Penny who cringed.
"Yeah, well, Stan Lee was great but this is a room full of celebrities and beautiful people. I BELONG there!" Howard exclaimed.
"That may be accurate for you, as well as deluded, however I have more important matters to attend to."
"Such as…?" Penny inquired.
"Such as reorganizing my comic book collection."
Penny rolled her eyes in annoyance. "Well tough Moonpie – you're coming out, you're going to dress like a grown up, and you're going to have a good time!"
"And if I don't?"
She smiled sinisterly and leaned in towards me. She whispered softly into my ear. The others watched with interested as I felt my face turn beet red, then pale as I gasped and turned my head towards her.
"Oh believe me Sweetie, I would." She demurred with a wink as she made her way back to the kitchen.
As soon as she was out of earshot they all leaned anxiously towards me.
"Good God man, you have got to tell us what she said!" Raj exclaimed.
I fidgeted uncomfortably in my seat as I recounted the words Penny said.
"She said the late one night after my REM cycle has begun, she will come to our apartment, enter my bedroom, pull back my covers and…" I faltered.
"And what?" Howard urged practically foaming at the mouth.
"She said she would put a ladybug in my bellybutton!"
The others groaned slumping back in their seats.
A few nights later Leonard, Howard, and Raj sat around the living room of 4A dressed in their best (for them anyway) going-out gear. Raj was already sipping on a beer determined not to let his mutism hinder him for one second of this party.
Penny burst in the front door with her usual energetic gusto. She was wearing a pale pink ruched chiffon mini dress that hit her mid-thigh with a large bow as the single strap on the curve hugging dress. Her golden hair was pile on top of her head in a mass of shimmering curls, and her face contained the lightest traces of makeup, only enhancing her natural beauty.
"Wow, you look great Penny!"
"Thanks Leonard," she grinned. "And you look pretty spiffy yourself!"
"Are you sure? Because if this isn't dressy enough my corduroy suit is clean and…"
"No no no! You look fine and besides we don't want to be late," she said hurriedly.
"Yes, we should go ahead and get this over with so I can return home as quickly as possible," I stated blandly coming up behind them.
Penny's eyes widened as she looked me over. "Sheldon, you look great!"
I had worn the black suit she helped me previously pick out, and wore my hair slightly tousled with 'product' and maintained my slight 5 o'clock shadow as instructed by my internet research. I figured if I was going to go I should study and put my best foot forward. Judging by the approval in Penny's eyes, and the slight envy in the others, I felt confident that I had earned an A+ for effort.
A couple of hours later the party was in full swing. The "small get together" was more of a full out red carpet event. There was at least a hundred people in attendance – many of whom I recognized from various television shows. Wait staff passed hors d oeuvres and champagne on trays, and a DJ was blasting the latest Beyoncé hit in the designated dance area. The director had an impressive home – I estimated it at well over 8000 sq. ft. in space. Once I had an opportunity to speak with the director, I confirmed that estimate, and then was able to give him a breakdown of how I came to that approximation. I further began to speak with him about the generational lapse in basic algebraic skills but then I felt Penny tugging at my elbow urgently. She apologized to the director and pulled me out to the sparsely populated deck outside.
"Sheldon, what the hell are you doing?" she whispered frantically.
"I was speaking with your employer about the necessity for more hands on learning regarding mathematical functions," I stated genuinely confused. "You know, while extremely advantageous, the overuse of electronics can be mentally crippling, especially in the event that otherworldly beings attacked earth."
Her irritation momentarily forgotten she asked, "Why is that?"
"Because their first order of business would be to disable our power sources and communication and cut of our water supply. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to determine the proper angle with which to launch a counter attack with absolutely no knowledge or experience using a protractor by hand?"
Penny shook her head and muttered, "Unbelievable…"
"I know, isn't it?"
"No Sheldon, what's unbelievable is you are at a party with some of the most beautiful people, best food, and hottest music on Earth, and your still 'sciencing' it up!"
I frowned at her fictional word but said nothing as she continued.
"Here," she said grabbing a glass of champagne off of the tray of a passing server "drink this. Loosen up. HAVE FUN."
I cautiously took the glass from her looking down into it and then glancing back up at her.
"DRINK." She instructed.
I timidly brought the glass up to my lips determined to take a tiny sip. At that moment, Penny tipped the bottom of my glass up higher forcing me to drink a much larger amount than intended. Surprisingly it was quite delicious. I suppose that's to be expected from a $700 bottle of alcohol.
"See, that wasn't so bad was it?" she grinned at me.
"No, I suppose not" I said draining the rest of my glass and grabbing another.
"Have a good time sweetie, but don't overdo it" she cautioned.
I giggled feeling extremely mellow. "I'm fine…let's dance!" I said grabbing her hand and pulling her back inside to the spacious dance room.
We both laughed and spun and dance as the DJ played a medley of tunes. I lost count of how many more glasses of champagne I drank as I spun and spun around. My heart beat was accelerating and I had begun sweating profusely. My vision became blurry as I heard a distant voice shouting my name and asking if I was ok. I tried to answer but my mouth stopped working. Everything stopped working. I stopped spinning and started staggering. I tried to stay upright but gravity was forcing me down.
Down down down.
Then there was blackness.
And I was gone.
I wonder what my cause of death was?
Undiagnosed brain tumor?
I suppose it doesn't matter since I'm dead now.
What will my poor simpleton friends do without me? I am their epicenter. Their core. They may as well cease to exist also.
And what will become of Penny? Poor community college dropout, man-hands Penny. Sigh.
"Hark! Is that an angel I hear? My mother was right all along?!"
"Sheldon, wake up! You're not dead you whack-a-doodle!"
"Ah, but I am. I have transcended to the greatly holy abyss."
Suddenly I felt water splash my face. My vision slowly came into focus on a very annoyed looking Penny.
"Penny? Are you dead too? We can be dead together now!" I shouted gleefully.
She placed her hands on my shoulders and looked me directly in the eye. "I am going to say this one more time. You are not dead. You had 2 and a half glasses of champagne and got woozy. I helped you to the bathroom where you passed out on the floor. It's only been 20 minutes since your first sip."
My brain finally began to register what she said and I slowly took in my surroundings before finally noticing I was laid out on the guest bathroom floor. I shrieked and jumped to my feet frantically brushing myself off.
"Penny, do you have some Lysol or hand sanitizer in that ridiculously small purse?"
She smiled to herself. "He's back."