Here I go again. Seriously,if I could turn my brain off I would. This story is going to be posted at a slower pace, this semester is really asking a lot from me. I'll try to post once a week. Reviews are appreciated and welcomed. To readers old and new, welcome.
After cleaning up table forty-six, Penny was ready to go home. She had just served a table of eight adults and seven children. She silently cleaned the spilled juice, broken crayons, mint wrappers and dessert plates while listening to the chatter around her. It was like she was some sort of robot, which was running low on batteries. After she reset the tables and moved her section back to normal, she walked toward the front of the restaurant. Her patrons decided to pay at the till and she was hoping they left behind a good tip, their bill had only come out to $256.48. Penny slapped a smile on her face and approached the hostess.
"Hey, Cassidy. How's your Saturday going so far?" She unenthusiastically asked. Cassidy smiled and pushed her blonde bangs out of her face. She was only sixteen, but Penny admired her work ethic and customer service skills. She rearranged the menus and cleaned up the table map on the podium that she stood behind.
"I'm alright, table forty-six left you a pretty nice tip." She said with a smile. Penny returned her sunny disposition and watched as she jotted down which tables were open and which were occupied with a white board marker. The chemical scent was thick in the air, but it was a smell that Penny had come to be familiar with, even enjoyed a little. It reminded her of Leonard.
"How much did they leave?" Penny asked as she pressed her back to the wall and looked at her nails. Cassidy smirked and capped her marker.
"They left you a dead President who happens to go by the name of Benjamin Franklin." Cassidy smoothly replied. Penny opened her mouth to speak, she was shocked.
"Seriously? A hundred bucks?!" Penny questioned. Cassidy nodded with a smile.
"Well, that made my day insanely better. I'm open if you want to give me a few more tables." Penny told her. Just as she finished speaking her manager came around the corner, looking like he was on a mission.
"Penny, you're cut. Go home." He quickly said before he looked at the table map and hurried toward the back of the restaurant. Penny looked at her co-worker and shrugged.
"I'm not working tomorrow, so I guess I'll see you next weekend." Penny said as she walked toward the bar. She always liked to cash out there, it was more quiet and plus John was working. No one messed with him because he had a slight mob-like look to him.
After Penny cashed out, she picked up her stuff from her locker and walked toward her car. It was the end of summer and it was starting to cool down. She threw on her sweater and breathed in the fresh air. She always loved fall back home, the air was different there, it was crisp and refreshing. It was cool against her skin but the sun was still warm enough to beat down on her. Not here. It was just less hot. Penny pursed her lips together and checked her phone before getting into her car. It was 2:30, Penny had been at work since 10:00. She had one new voicemail, and a missed text from Leonard. She quickly looked at Leonard's text. It was sent at 10:30 am.
Penny rolled her eyes, sometimes he could be so needy. Who was she to complain though? She had practically begged him to move in with her. She let out an audible sigh and called her voice mail.
"You have one new voicemail. To check voicemail, press.." Penny cut off the automated voice by pressing one.
"Hi Penny, this is Melody from American Globe Theatre in New York. We were sent your resume and headshots by your agent, if you could call us back that would be greatly appreciated." Penny's heart pounded in her ears as she listened to the voicemail end. She wasn't sure what to think.
New York, the place where things happened. Her thoughts were quickly interrupted by the automated voice asking her what she would like to do with the message. Penny quickly ended the call and called back the only New York number in her recent call list. The phone rang and she waited. Her stomach filled with nervous tension and she felt her palms become clammy. She silently scolded herself for not having better control.
"Hello?" The voice on the other line greeted.
"Hi, I'm looking to speak with Melody." Penny responded. She unlocked her car and quickly sat in the driver's seat.
"This is Melody, may I ask who's speaking?" The woman replied.
"Oh good, this is Penny. You left me a voicemail earlier today and I'm just returning your call." Penny told her.
"Right, Penny! We received your resume from your agent and we wanted to offer you a position with our theatre company. Mostly, we produce contemporary work and revivals. We are located in New York though, so you would have to relocate." Melody explained. Penny's breathing seized for a moment. She would have to move to New York. She bit at her lip and thought about her reply.
"Melody, I am going to have to think about it. Would you be able to email me an offer letter, so I can look over the terms?" Penny asked.
"Of course! If you could get back to me as soon as possible though, that would be great." Melody stated. Penny liked the general cheerfulness of her voice. It put her at ease, maybe it even got her a little bit excited.
"Thanks Melody. I look forward to looking it over." Penny said as she turned on her ignition. The women said good bye and Penny raced home. She felt excited and apprehensive at the same time. This was an opportunity that could turn her life around. It could be a break for her career. How would Leonard respond? She hoped that he would be supportive. Maybe he could even get a job at one of the universities in New York. Her brain was on driving autopilot and before she knew it she was parked outside of her apartment building. The same building that she had lived in for the past five years. This was home, it was comfortable, but in all of the five years she lived here, what did she have to show for it?
Penny trudged up the stairs, hoping that Leonard wasn't home. She didn't really want to talk about the opportunity that presented itself to her. She liked comfortable, but at what cost was she willing to stay in her little cocoon of failure? She twisted her doorknob and the door effortlessly opened. Leonard was sitting on the teal couch in their living room watching Babylon 5. Penny hated that show. She walked in and closed the door behind her, setting her things on the bookshelf beside the front door.
"Hey!" Leonard chimed. Penny half smiled at him while she sat on the couch. He picked up her legs and mindlessly rubbed her calves. Penny relaxed into his touch and watched the stupid show he had been watching.
"How was your day?" He asked. Penny smiled and looked up into his face. He half paid attention to the television and half paid attention to her.
"It was alright, I got cut early, but I made $150 in tips today so that was good." Penny half-heartedly replied. Leonard smiled and grasped her hand into his. They silently watched his show. Penny couldn't get this job off her mind. She remembered when she moved to Pasadena. It was terrifying, it was even more terrifying when she moved out of Kurt's apartment and into her own. Though it was terrifying, it was also liberating. She was able to make it on her own and do what she wanted.
"Leonard, I have to talk to you about something." Penny started as she shifted her gaze from the TV to her boyfriend's face. It looked stricken with worry. Penny smiled and gripped his hand in hers a little tighter as she swung her legs off of his lap and pressed her feet firmly to the floor.
"Like 'We have to talk because you're such an interesting guy', or 'We have to talk because you're in trouble'?" Leonard skeptically asked while furrowing his brows at her. Penny licked at her lips, suddenly wishing that she hadn't said anything.
"Leonard, I got a job offer today. It's with a theatre group." Penny started cautiously. It was easy to get into an argument with Leonard, and she was determined to not let that happen. Leonard's face softened and a grin broke out onto his face. He wrapped his arms around her and hugged her tightly.
"Penny, that's great!" He exclaimed as he pulled away to look into her face. She softly smiled and he chastely kissed her lips. Penny looked away and thought about the second part of the conversation.
"The thing is, that it's not in Pasadena." Penny offered. Leonard pursed his lips together and shrugged.
"So you'll have to commute to L.A., that's no big deal. We can make that work." Leonard assured her. Penny took in a deep breath and exhaled softly through her nose. She took his hand back into hers and squeezed it gently.
"Sweetie, it's in New York." She confessed. Leonard's face drained of color and it looked like he had just been punched in the stomach. Penny watched his face as he searched his brain for the words to say.
"Come again?" He finally managed to say. Penny cleared her throat and licked her lips.
"I got a job offer today for a theatre group in New York." Penny restated. Leonard searched her face and opened his mouth to speak.
"So what are you saying exactly?" He quietly asked. Penny sighed.
"I don't know, Leonard. What do you think about it? I mean we could both go to New York and you could get a job at a university there, this is a really good opportunity for me and it could be really good for you too." Penny reasoned. Leonard furrowed his brow again. It was coming, she could feel it.
"Penny, my life is here, my friends are here, you're here, my works here. Why would I want to go to New York?" He asked, sounding hurt. Penny felt her defenses go up. She swallowed at the lump that had formed in her throat.
"I know-" Penny started.
"Then why are you asking?" Leonard interrupted. Penny felt her stomach twist into knots.
"I'm bringing it up because it's a good opportunity for me and I was kind of hoping that you would be supportive. What do I have here? I have a shitty waitressing job." Penny argued, slightly raising her voice. Leonard let go of her hand and defensively crossed his arms across his chest.
"You have me, and you have friends here and something is bound to come along for you Penny." He snidely shot back. Penny balled her fists and tried to manage her breathing.
"Something has come along. It just isn't here." Penny said, her eyes shined with unspent tears and her lip softly quivered. She didn't understand why he was being so defensive. She quickly stood up, picked up her purse and walked toward the door.
"Where are you going?" Leonard asked, annoyance colored his voice. It was like he was talking to Sheldon. She hated the way he talked to him sometimes.
"Why do you ask Leonard? Are you going to tell me that it's a bad idea, and that my place in life is to be by your side, obediently waiting for my next command?!" She shrieked and marched out the door slamming it behind her. Tears splashed onto her cheeks as she ran down the stairs, not knowing what she was going to do.
"Penny, wait!" Leonard called behind her. Penny told herself to keep her head down and keep going. She pushed past the front door to the building and got into her car. As she drove away, she saw him in her rear view mirror rushing out onto the sidewalk. Penny let out a sob that was trapped in her throat. As she drove, she cried. She felt sick to her stomach and her nerves were shot. Adrenaline coursed through her veins as she ran a red light.
Before she knew where she was going, she pulled up in front of a familiar building. Her phone rang in her purse, but she ignored it as she turned the car off and got out. She walked into the building and pressed the button for the elevator. Her phone rang in her purse again and she quickly fished it out, turning it off.
The elevator opened and Penny got in, hitting the button to the seventh floor. The soft hum of the elevator filled her ears as she wiped away the tears that streaked her face. Penny sniffled and wiped her nose on the sleeve of her sweater. What the hell just happened? The elevator stopped and the door opened. Penny quickly got out and walked toward apartment 732. She quietly knocked on the door and waited. When it opened, she flung herself at Amy.
"I'm so glad you're home!" Penny cried as she began sobbing into her soft brown hair. Amy slowly backed up into her apartment with Penny firmly attached to her and closed the door behind them. Penny hugged her friend tightly as Amy brushed her fingers through Penny's long blonde hair and guided them to her couch.
"Penny, what happened?" Amy softly asked as Penny silently cried on her shoulder. Penny released Amy from her grasp and plucked a tissue from the coffee table to blow her nose. She wiped at her face and deeply inhaled and exhaled.
"I had a huge fight with Leonard, I don't think I can go home." Penny whispered. She held her hands in her lap to keep them from shaking. Amy patted her friend's thigh and got up to make them some tea. As she returned from putting the kettle on the stove, she picked up Penny's hands into her and softly rubbed the back of her hands with her thumbs.
"Spill it, Bestie." Amy coaxed. Penny looked up toward the ceiling to stop the tears from flowing again. She sighed and looked into Amy's piercing blue eyes. Penny smiled and took her hands from Amy's and rested them in her lap once more.
"I got a job offer, it's in New York. I don't know what to do." Penny said as she looked toward the floor. Amy smiled at her friend and patted her hand.
"That is wonderful, however, I can see the predicament you've encountered." Amy said with a puzzled expression.
"I just don't know if I'll get another chance like this." Penny confessed. Amy nodded.
"I think that if it's something you want, you have to take it, like when Queen Victoria took India." Amy offered. Penny smiled. Oh how right her friend could be sometimes. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and she would be foolish not to take advantage of it. Leonard or no Leonard, she was going to consider taking the job.
"Amy can I stay here for a few days?" Penny asked. Amy smiled and nodded.
"As long as you like, Bestie." Amy replied. The kettle whistled and Amy got up to make her friend a hot beverage.