Up to the age of twenty-one, Penny Warner had lived the normal life of a girl living on a Nebraska farm. She had been a little wild in High School, but no more than any of her friends. No doubt she would have settled down, married, and had children if she had not met him.
He had been passing through on a motorcycle and stopped for gas at the same time as Penny. She was immediately drawn to him. He was tall and slender with the most piercing blue eyes. It was the way he looked her over though that made her feel different than she ever had before. When he walked over to her and insolently put his hand on her shoulder, she shuddered. Without even a word between them, she stunned herself by getting on the back of his motorcycle.
When he made love to her, she was lost. They swept across the country, living by staging armed robberies at small businesses, depending only on each other.
It all came crashing down in California. They had just held up a grocery store, but when they exited, the police were waiting for them. In desperation, they grabbed an unsuspecting bespectacled man who was in the wrong place. Using him as a shield, they managed to escape, but not before Sheldon was shot. Once they were free, Penny vented her anger over what happened on their hostage, Dr. Leonard Hofstadter. She shot him and left him to die.
But now it seemed their luck had changed. Six months later they once again were involved in a shoot-out but this time they were not so lucky. They were buried together in a Potter's field.
Penny awoke, wondering where she was. She found herself in what appeared to be a park. It was beautiful and serene but no one was around.
Then she saw a man approaching. To her astonishment, she recognized him as Leonard Hofstadter, the man she had killed. Then it all come back, the police, the shooting. She had to watch Sheldon die again. Then the pain and the darkness.
Leonard had reached her, "Hi, Penny."
"Where are we?"
Penny was stunned and surprised. Why was she here?
Leonard smiled, "Wondering how you ended up here?"
When Penny nodded, he said sadly, "I'm afraid you won't be here long. You see, when you kill someone, it becomes that person's duty to escort you to Hell."
Penny panicked; she didn't want to go to Hell. There had to be something that could be done. "It's Leonard, isn't it? Isn't there something that can be done? I wasn't really bad. It was just when I was with Sheldon…"
Leonard said sadly, "I'm sorry, Penny, there is nothing I can do."
Desperately, "What about a second chance? I promise to be good this time. Please."
Leonard seemed to consider, "Well, there is one possibility. We could both go back. But you would have to spend this new life caring about me to undo what you've done."
Excitedly, "I can do that. Please, let me prove it."
"The thing is, neither of us will remember anything of this or our previous lives. You will have to turn out to be a good person who is interested in me."
Penny was not sure about this. He really didn't seem to be the kind of man she would normally spend time with, let alone care anything about. But she did feel she could be a good person and he seemed to be a good guy.
Leonard had gone on, "If it becomes apparent you haven't changed, you will immediately be returned."
Suddenly, everything went quiet and she found herself fading, then nothing.
As often was true of second lives, Sheldon also returned as a different person in her life.
Penny had just moved into a new apartment. She had left the door open and was putting things away when she heard footsteps. She looked up to see two men standing there.
After a rather comical exchange of saying Hi, she finally ended it with a final, "Hi."