"Well, I suppose I cannot tell you what you want to do," Penny replied, her anxiety over the situation making her flustered, her words coming out in a jumbled rush. "Oh, but you mustn't act on it! My father would... Me kissing someone without proper courting! I... I couldn't possibly!"
Penny stopped then, attempting to catch her breath and compose herself, letting what Matt had said sink in. "Oh, Matt," she sighed sadly. "You are so kind to say that. You are wonderful, too, and you are the best friend I have, but you must understand that it cannot be. My parents will choose my husband for me. We are from two separate worlds and I am not certain they would even approve of our friendship," she explained, feeling increasingly distressed by where the conversation was going, particularly because she was certain that her parents (or her mother, at least) would approve of her gallivanting about town on her own and befriending men who tended shops, regardless of how intelligent and kind they might happen to be. "Surely you must have known this, Matt, surely you did." Penny was almost pleading, though why, she was uncertain. For some reason this hurt, and it hurt far more than she could have anticipated.