"Penny… Penny… Penny." He did his usual three-knock against Penny's door. He was concerned. After hearing raised voices from the hallway and then Leonard's attitude as soon as he entered the apartment, Sheldon knew something was wrong. So, as any normal friend would do, he stormed out of his apartment, marched across the short hallway and knocked on Penny's door.
It had taken a while for Penny to open the door. He assumed she was in her bedroom, putting away her things or pouring herself a glass of wine, but this time she was taking unusually long. Sheldon leaned forward, pressing his ear against the door, trying to make out any noise coming from inside. All he heard was muffled crying. And so, Sheldon reached for the doorknob, turned it, and pushed it open.
"Penny, I am unaware of the situation that had occurred out here in the hallway between you and Leonard, but judging by the way he entered the apartment, completely ignoring my welcoming statement, and the way he marched off towards his bedroom, I had a hunch…" He looked at Penny who was sitting down on her sofa, wiping the tears from her eyes as he tilted his head slightly. The blonde quickly stood up and walked towards Sheldon, wrapping her arms around her mid section. "And your hunch would be?" she asked, pursing her lips.
Sheldon raised his arm up slowly and rested his palm on Penny's shoulder. "That he hurt my friend." Penny looked up at Sheldon and shut her eyes, letting the tears fall from her eyes. Without a word, she took a step forward, hitting Sheldon's chest and cried. The physicist looked over her head, wide-eyed, and awkwardly wrapped his arms Penny's back. Quickly, Penny stepped away from Sheldon and shook her head. "I'm sorry, Sheldon. I know how uncomfortable that makes you." Wiping the tears from her face, she turned around and took a seat on her sofa.
In the middle of the doorway, Sheldon began toying with his fingers as he looked over at Penny with a concerned look. He looked down at his hands and then back up and said, "Penny, it has come to my knowledge that when a friend is either A) blue or B) crying their eyes out, it is my job to fetch them a hot beverage. Now, if you will…" Sheldon extended his arm out towards his apartment door. The blonde shook her head. "I'm not going in there, Sheldon. I can't be in the same apartment as Leonard. Thank God, I'm leaving."
Sheldon turned his body to fully face Penny, yet he remained in the middle of the doorway. Puzzled, he crossed his arms against his chest. "Excuse me? Are you leaving us, Penny?"
Penny leaned forward and rested her elbows on her knees while her palms were cradling her cheeks. She looked up at Sheldon and nodded. "My lease is up at the end of the month and it looks like Leonard and I are done for good, so why should I stay here? It's time for me to go, Sheldon."
He started taking small steps towards Penny's turquoise sofa. Despite the fact he didn't have a specific spot on the sofa, he quickly found comfort on the left cushion, since Penny had taken over the middle one. Sheldon folded his hands over his knees and tilted his head.
"But what if you and Leonard get back together?"
Penny lifted her head up from her palms and shook her head. "We are not getting back together, Sheldon! Do you know what he did? Do you want to know why this is the last time I will ever speak to him again? Do you?!" She had raised her voice, which caused Sheldon and lean back against the sofa.
"I'm sorry, Sheldon…" she whispered, dropping her face back into her palms.
Afraid, Sheldon found himself scooting closer and closer to Penny with his right arm extending over and lightly caressing her shoulder. She looked up at her friend and sobbed. "Tell me, Penny," Sheldon replied softly. He didn't look at her – Sheldon looked forward, at her TV, but still caressed her shoulder. Soon, he felt her head being lowered and finally, rested on his own shoulder. A small smile appeared on his face.
Penny sniffled and ran the back of her hand underneath her nose. "He had coitus with my sister," she said in between sobs. "Remember when she came into town for the premiere of my commercial? Well, her and Leonard did it… in my bathroom…"
Sheldon gasped lightly and shook his head, cursing Leonard in his thoughts. "Leonard is an idiot. He really does make poor choices in the relationship department." Penny laughed softly and cradled herself closer against Sheldon. His other arm wrapped around Penny and he couldn't help but feel great sympathy for his beautiful blonde friend.
The two just sat there on the couch, holding each other, but Sheldon mostly since he was playing the role of the concerned friend. He was leaning back against the sofa while Penny's legs were comfortably rested on the other cushion. He could hear her light breathing and he only assumed she was asleep. Sheldon sighed, both for the idiotic choices his roommate had partook in and his greatest worry in Penny.
The two had known each other for six years now. Well, Penny had known them all for six years. And in those six years, Sheldon had watched Penny go out with the most ignorant, absurd, and underdeveloped batch of guys anyone has ever come across. He had quickly picked up on the pattern and monitored their stupidity, taking notes on the early mornings he would hear her door slam and the nights where she came in super late. She brought home dumb guy after dumb guy and it irked him. Deep down, he found it hard to believe how a guy as incredibly intelligent as him could fall for a girl like… her.
Now, here he was, holding her as if she was his. Yet, he was holding her because of the result in her dating ignorant guys and Leonard, whose love life was deemed underdeveloped.
Sheldon felt his Flash t-shirt dampen from Penny's tears and now, her breathing had progressively gotten heavier, implying that she was in a deep sleep. Sheldon reached into his pocket and pulled out his gold pocket watch in which he got a few years back. It was nearing midnight and he had work to do, but all he wanted to do was stay here with Penny.
Sighing, he comfortably lifted Penny into his arms and walked towards her bedroom. He put her in bed, draped a blanket over her and leaned down to kiss her forehead. Sheldon stepped back and looked at Penny; her noise was stuffy and her cheeks were glistening under the light from her side lamp. She was heartbroken and even Sheldon could tell.
So he decided to stay.
The next morning, Sheldon awoke to female voices. He tossed over and found himself lying on Penny's bedroom floor with many blankets covering him. He wiped his eyes and looked around the bedroom. Instead of the abnormally bright colored room decorations, the room was empty. He looked at the desk that once had picture frames of her and each of the guys, except the desk was clear. Sheldon looked on Penny's bed to find her stuffed animals, but they were gone. Her closet was empty, her beside tables no longer held the unnecessary knick-knacks girls splurged on at Target and her bathroom was wiped out.
Sheldon got off the floor and began folding the blankets quickly, placing them on top of the undecorated bed. He walked into the living room, watching the three girls sit on the turquoise sofa with wine glasses in their hands and a half-full bottle of wine in front of them.
The three girls all turned around, but Penny was the only one who stood up. She placed her glass on the table and walked around the sofa, making her way towards Sheldon. "What's going on-" he asked, looking around the place. The apartment was empty. There was nothing. All that was left that belonged to Penny was the blue couch and the wine glasses. Penny walked up Sheldon and sighed. He looked at her and noticed how red her eyes were. He wanted to hug her.
"Sweetie, I'm leaving. You remember, right? I told you last night."
Sheldon shook his head. "I didn't think you were serious, Penny. You joke around a lot-
"Well, this time I'm not joking. I'm leaving, Sheldon."
"Where are you going?"
Penny pursed her lips and wrapped her arms around Sheldon. Slowly, his arms came around and wrapped over her shoulders. His head rested on top of hers and looked over at Bernadette and Amy who quickly finished their wine. Sheldon shut his eyes for a moment, wanting nothing more than for this to be a dream. Penny couldn't be leaving. She was a prominent role in their social group and a prominent role in his life. It couldn't be real.
Pulling away, she looked up at Sheldon and said, "Oh, I'm going to miss you so much, Sheldon."
He didn't respond.
"Penny, it's 4:30, your taxi is probably outside waiting," Bernadette said softly. Penny turned around and gave her best girl friends a nod. She took in a deep breath and exhaled while making an 'O' with her lips.
"How about you two head down there? I'll be there in a second," Penny said, reaching for her bag. Amy and Bernadette nodded and walked towards the door. "We'll see you down there, bestie."
Once the two were finally alone, Penny took Sheldon's hand and led him towards her turquoise couch, where she took a seat on the middle cushion and he sat on the left side.
"Why are you leaving, Penny? I understand what Leonard did was proven wrong and unforgivable, but that doesn't have to result in you leaving Los Angeles. I'm sure you can just find a place in West Hollywood and you wouldn't have to worry about running into Leonard there. He's afraid of large crowds, as am I."
Penny shook her head. "This isn't just about Leonard, Sheldon." She paused. "This is about my career. Since I've moved here, I've got nothing to add onto my resume but two hemorrhoid commercials and an Anne Frank show above a bowling alley. I've talked to my agent and she said she has three auditions booked for me and they're waiting in New York. So you see, I have to go."
Sheldon nodded. "I understand."
"Hey," Penny said in a cheer-y voice. "Let's play a game."
"Alright, I enjoy games," Sheldon replied, sitting upright on the couch.
Penny smiled and stood in front of Sheldon, who was still sitting upright. "Alright, cover your eyes, Sheldon." And he did as he was told. Holding back the tears, Penny said, "I want you to count to three very slowly. And when you get to three, I want you to remove your hands from your eyes and smile, okay?" Sheldon nodded with his hands over his eyes. "Oh wait, I forgot…" as he removed his hands from his eyes, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his gold watch. He looked down at it and handed it to Penny.
"I want you to have this."
Penny looked at the watch and shook her head. "Sweetie, I can't take that."
Sheldon insisted. "Yes, you can. Here."
"No, buts," he interrupted.
Without another word, Penny reached for the pocket watch and held it in her hand tightly while trying so hard to hold back the tears. Sheldon looked at Penny and lifted his hand up to caress her cheek. "You're welcome."
A tear had escaped her eye, but Penny quickly wiped it away. "Alright, back to the game. Cover your eyes, Sheldon." Again, he did as he was told and rested his hands over his eyes. Penny wiped her eyes and held the pocket watch against her chest as she leaned forward.
"Count to three slowly and after three, I want you to open your eyes…"
While he had covered his eyes, a million things were running through his head and not one single thought was about science. They were focusing on Penny and her leaving and how badly he didn't want her to go and how much he was going to miss her, but he couldn't put it into words. He was only hurting himself but not doing anything about it. So, when he was allowed to open his eyes, he was going to tell her to stay… and that he cared deeply for her.
"I am going to miss you so, so, so much, Sheldon Cooper. You don't know how hard this is, but I really have to go…" Penny lowered her head so that she was face to face with Sheldon, yet she was still on her feet.
"One," whispered Sheldon and Penny's lips hovered over his.
"I love you."
"Two," he whispered, and Penny gently pressed her lips against his.
"We'll see each other soon."
"Three," Sheldon finished and he removed his hands from his eyes. Given that his eyes had been shut and covered for a while, his vision had resulted in a blur, but his vision quickly managed to become clear and once clear, he found himself left alone in the room.
No furniture, no light, and no Penny.