Scene 9

A pub. Late afternoon. Lemon and Joe are playing pool. In the background are a table football table and VANESSA. CHRIS enters, “fresh” from football. Joe pauses his shot.

LEMON: Well?

CHRIS: Nine!

JOE: Nine’s all right.

CHRIS: Nine’s our season best.

JOE: Nice one.

Joe bends to sink something simple.

CHRIS: All right, Vanessa!

She waves.

LEMON: You still using the old ‘six-four-zero’?

CHRIS: Had Ben hanging back, didn’t we. Just the three goals in the second half.

Lemon is artificial and discomfited.

LEMON: Now you’ve [sic] in single figures, could it be time to start thinking offensively?

CHRIS: Maybe. And I'm not saying we're disappointed with the wretched result. If anything, we're ecstatic. But as the clock ran down, we faced a team increasingly less convinced of the strength of challenge we represented.

LEMON: Turned down the volume, did they.

CHRIS: Of the final five goals, three were accomplished by aerial scissor-kicks, one can be traced to a quite unnecessary hack-down by Ben, and one was an own goal.

LEMON: Deflection, or . . .

CHRIS: Yeah, deflection. To be honest, Ben kicking it in off Batesy’s elbow, so. Both. Ben played well actually.

Perhaps some soundtrack music begins now, or perhaps it has begun earlier. A pool shot, a real mega-hit, splays pseudo-chaos across the table-top. The camera shot lingers until this pool shot’s very last wobble. Meanwhile, floating away . . .

VANESSA: Did you win then?

CHRIS: Christ, Vanessa!

She’s laughing.

CHRIS: Have you not been listening? You must've never’ve been listening for a month to be asking me a question like that . . .