OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Fiction Series: 3 of Cups - Chapter 2

Fiction Series: 3 of Cups - Chapter 2

Lila Miller, nee Lila Harrison-Tang, was absolutely a budding athletic savant in her own right. Where her husband lived for football, though, she found homes in soccer and tennis. She would also find comfort in her body while playing both. Growing to 5’3” with a 5’11” wingspan, she would make quality use of her exceptionally long arms to block shots as a goalie, and manage one ferocious backhand. She irked every tennis coach she came across for adamantly refusing to utilize a double-handed backhand, but she didn’t care. Her career would come to an abrupt end during her junior year in college, after sustaining an undisclosed injury in practice. Four people allegedly vomited on sight. Never bitter but always curious, she would occasionally wonder what could have been as she comfortably stepped into a career in finance while rehabbing and finishing school. She was just as lost as Harrison, though. Excelling, but never really feeling at home in between the long hours, constant trips, and painfully rare moments of introspection that her job and life allowed.

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Keys rattle in the door as Harrison snores away on the couch. It eventually opens and Lila steps in, dragging a small suitcase behind her. She pushes the door shut and locks it, walking up to the kitchen counter and dropping the keys, along with her burdens. There are boxes strewn about the apartment, some open and tossed aside, others still taped shut. She opens the refrigerator and pulls out two bottles of chardonnay, guiding the door shut with her foot. Harrison wakes with a start as the refrigerator door slams. He looks around and sees Lila heading towards him with the bottles. “’Sup?” He nods drowsily.

“Play me,” she says, setting the bottles down on the coffee table. Harrison sits up to make room. They peck each other on the lips quickly, pulling away for a moment. They gaze into each other’s eyes and pull each other in, kissing more deeply, more passionately. They let out moans as Lila bites her husband’s lower lip, and Harrison traces his fingers along the back of his wife’s neck, before finding the spot he liked teasing with his tongue the most. Lila enjoys this for a moment, then pulls away.

“We’re drinking those?” Harrison asks, looking at the bottles.

“Mm-hmm,” Lila says, walking up to the gaming console and picking out a shooter. “Let’s order pizza.”

“So no cooking?” Harrison asks, pouting a bit.

“You wanna cook because that means I have to look for the cookware,” Lila says. Harrison smirks.

“Let’s get something with chicken on it. Goes with the wine.” Harrison picks up the corkscrew on the coffee table and opens the chilled bottles. He takes a sip from one and sets it down, picking up a controller.

“You order, I need to change.” Lila walks back to Harrison, carrying a controller as the game loads. She leans in, unbuttoning her shirt. Harrison deftly undoes her bra with his right hand, while softly groping with his left. She chuckles and walks off to the bedroom to change.

The couple met in middle school, in the seventh grade. They became fast friends on a Thursday afternoon in the fall, while making jokes as a Hitchcock film played in elective. The friendship would grow, while staying platonic until one day, three years later. Carrie Park was spotted pulling Lila into a broom closet between fourth and fifth periods. She insisted it was to show Lila a mole, but Lila’s tomboyish nature paired with the two being nigh inseparable in a… peculiar way, would lead to rumors spreading that the two were dating. Carrie didn’t take kindly to the rumors, especially when they would cost her the affections of a boy she liked. Lila, comfortably a 5.5 on the Kinsey scale, didn’t care. She did, however, grow annoyed with her friend’s response to the whole situation. She would seek to dispel the rumors once and for all, by turning to her best friend, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and kissing him passionately in the hallway as everyone returned to their classrooms from lunch. “You bit my lip,” he said, shocked. After school, he kissed her back.

Lila emerges from the bedroom in a t-shirt and an oversized pair of basketball shorts. The video game has loaded, and her husband can be spotted maneuvering through the settings to create the desired showdown. She tries to sit on his lap, and is promptly rejected. “Nope,” Harrison says, pulling his feet onto the sofa, raising his knees uncomfortably high. He groans. “You sit there.”

“Whatever,” Lila says, rolling her eyes. She takes a seat on the opposite side of the couch and picks up her controller.

“You always do that when you know I’m about to blow you out,” Harrison says, eyes focused on the screen. “Like when I won by 40.”

“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.” Lila’s character moves subtly, as she tries to get the drop on Harrison’s.

“Come get this spanking now, before I give you the other one later.” Harrison laughs until his wife’s character plunges a knife into his, killing it instantly.

“You were saying?” Lila chuckles. “You always lose when you talk shit.”

“Oh word?” Harrison fells Lila’s character quickly with two well-placed shots from a pistol. The couple continues battling back and forth until the doorbell rings.

“You gonna get that?” Lila asks. Neither breaks focus.

“Nope,” Harrison says. “I ordered it, you get it.” Lila groans.

“Ugh. Controllers down.” They both set the controllers down onto the coffee table as the doorbell rings again. Lila goes to the door while Harrison checks messages on his phone. Another text from another former coach. He silences the phone and places it on the coffee table, taking a drink from the open wine bottle. He nods approvingly.

“Not bad,” Harrison says as the door closes and locks.

“Okay, so I know what I’m having,” Lila says, setting the boxes on the table. “What are you having?” Harrison squints at her.

“Yeah, okay,” Harrison says. “Twenty seconds left.”

“Shit,” Lila says. They pick up their controllers and get back to it. With time running out, they both fling Hail Mary grenades towards each other. They explode harmlessly. A tie.

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