Penny couldn't even find her voice to respond. She might have but he had said it - that word. Love. She didn't think it possible but it was there, hanging in the air between them. It made her mouth go dry and her heart feel like it would beat it's way out of her chest. Clearly, she had underestimated the situation. She had never even imagined that little kiss could possibly lead to something like this. It wasn't supposed to happen like this.
So instead of speaking Penny just shook her head and took a step backward. The she took another step. A few more and she tripped over the hem of her skirt. She let out a small startled yelp and, embarrassed, she turned on her heels and ran.
You're such a coward, she chided herself as she ran away from the one who had become her best friend. Funny how the reprimand sounded so like Gen in her mind and she could almost hear the scowl in her voice. I am a coward. That, that was all Penny. She was glad, at least, that her back was turned when the tears started leaking from her eyes.