The Chronicles of Penny

'Tis that time, all. We shall once again delve into the fabulous world of the literary. This be the tale of Penny. Let us begin.

In ages past, she was a general, a leader of both men and women into the battlefield, who put fear and respect into the hearts of hundreds. In ages past, she was a indefatigable scholar, whose erudite knowledge surpassed even the most learned of academia. This was the raven haired beauty who was known throughout the land for her voice and her mind, and it is she whom this tale is written about. For it is not her legendary heroism of days past that we shall let our eyes fall upon, but it is the progression into today that shall be subsequently chronicled. Enter Penny of the Present from the perception of an observer.

'Twas the present. Nothing like it. I knew of the Penny the General, who led the hordes across the wintry fields of battle. I knew of Penny the Scholar, whose studies were long and hard. I knew little of Penny of the Present, until the third year of studies at my most previous institution of learning. There were times, between lectures and practical experiments that I had free time to pass, while the cold blasts of winter screamed passed the glass panes of school. Similarly, Ms. Penny had time to spend, as she had undoubtedly finished any assignments far before they were due. Once during the day, we both had one of these brief respites from study at the same time. Both of us were wont to wait until the next academic engagement in the same location. As this was the case, and Ms. Penny happened to be a player of a game of cards, I had the pleasure of joining her and several over scholars for a friendly game several times a week. It was during this time that I happened to gain an insight into Penny of the Present.

Times had changed things. Epochs of life and history had passed since I had had chance to have made her acquaintance last. The minute details of her experiences that I picked up over the games wounded me; Penny of the Present seemed to have changed deeply from the Penny I once knew of. The Ms. Penny that I was hearing about for the first time for this was not the famed Penny the General and I was having doubts as to whether or not this was the Penny the Scholar whom I had heard such great things about. This new Penny seemed to be less self-sure, but more aware of the baser world that those less learned and wise dwell in to a fault. I thought to myself, that as long as this new Penny was able to stave off the darkness that surrounded that world, that as long as she could protect herself, perhaps this new Penny wasn't all that bad. It did hurt to see the change that I had seen. At the time I hoped that it was all fun and games. I still hope such.

A year passed, I changed too. The peaceful and quiet moved on to a more boisterous and social. The knowledge of self-amusement and internal peace, respect and concern remained. I had no contact, no real contact, with Penny of the Present. It was not until the end of the year that I had chance to see her again.

It was at a grouping for one whom had passed successfully through our academic institution. I was invited and I brought with myself a small gift for the honoree, my eyes, my ears and my perceptions. It was not until later that night that I had a chance to once again lay eyes upon the sight that was Ms. Penny. Her raven hair had been closer cropped, but beyond that she remained much as she always had, at least in appearance. I sat with several of my colleagues and we discussed the events of the last year and anxieties concerning moving forward with our scholarly careers. It was at this time, or thereabouts, that I discovered that Penny of the Present planned on attending the University to which I was heading in the fall. This incident, in and of itself, was fairly uninteresting, but it sets the stage for the next chapter in the chronicles of Ms. Penny.

Each incoming student to the University must attend a two-day-long preparation for formal entry, in order to familiarize the new student with the rules, regulations and setting of the place where he would spend the next four years. It is here at this orientation that the story continues.

Having arrived at check-in, I saw no-one I knew, immediately. However, it did not take particularly long for me to set eyes upon Ms. Penny. Once again, there were no physical changes that I could place. The day progressed, and I had the opportunity to meet with her and another colleague that I had known from my previous place of learning. It was only at the events of later that night that I was able to converse with the two, where the insights into Penny of the Present's current state of mind would be gleaned. I learned that night several things. One was that Ms. Penny's current relationship status was an odd one, and not for the better. One of my comrades of the Old Wars had taken up with her over the course of the last few months and had not been the kindest, or so I gathered. This troubled me in several ways. The title that I have taken was that of Protector. As such, any physical or emotional harm that could come to one for whom I expressed such respect and care was a thing which sent daggers hurling at my soul, especially where I was unable to prevent such harm. What led to the current state of affairs with Ms. Penny was a comment she made: I just want someone who respects me for who I am. Following that, I made my best effort to present a situation which would provide what she requested with her statement. I told her my proposition. She seemed to agree. I was excited.

In future weeks, before that summer-long hiatus from studies ended, I made an appointment. Each of us was to be accompanied by another of the opposite gender. She, true to form, selected my former comrade. I selected my closest ally and friend of the past two years. We met over lunch. Talk evolved. Not much of substance was said. I had hoped, despite this, that things were looking up and I could finally get to know Ms. Penny, if only as a quiet friend. After that get-together, we haven't spoke since. Not truly.

As there were several weeks remaining of summer before academics resumed, I had put forward the possibility of walking as in going for a walk and talking. Several times that summer I attempted to persuade Ms. Penny to join me in such a jaunt, but to no avail. Following the resumption of studies, I tried again.

Before I knew anyone here at University, I attempted once again to contact this Penny of the Present. Several times I tried to set up an appointment of some nature, be it a walk or a meeting or a dinner, to no avail. The last attempt I remember vividly. I sent a message requesting, one final time, for a face-to-face, calling myself a fool for trying. I hoped that by playing a final attempt I would get some kind of response. In the final message I sent I called myself a fool for trying, hoping for some shred of pity or response or anything. The reply I received essentially agreed with me. She pleaded studies and activities as too time-consuming. Later, I queried one of the friends that I made here at University for his take on the course-load in his major, as both he and Ms. Penny pursued the same degree. He confirmed my suspicions that there was no possible way to have such a busy life in the fist week. So, now presented with the observations, I shall now present the interpretations.

Penny of the Present is an entirely different kind of animal from Penny the General or Penny the Scholar I had known then heard of, respectively. I face myself with the brutal reality that I have horribly misjudged the situation and common courtesy from several perspectives. I had hoped that even one of my possibly-redeeming qualities would have caught her eye. Even if it was simply taking advantage of the advanced academic training that I had received prior to my coming to University. I had simply hoped that I could forge a friendship even a tenuous one with the famed Penny that I had heard so much about. Despite my convictions of failure, a little, deluded spark of light remains; There's always next semester.