Jemy Francillon — The Perch

Clapton bleeds in the back as he zips up her dress.

He watches her reflection behind him in the mirror as his fingers flub the bow of his tie. He chuckles—these muscles are working from different memories altogether.

He turns around for a truer view, and on cue, tells her, she looks wonderful tonight.

His jacket lay draped over the arm of the chair. His chair. His skybox, his floor seat, his perch, his prison. He picked up the jacket and slid smoothly into it.

As she sits across the room, on the edge of the bed, fastening the straps of her shoes a strap on her dress slides with an escapist’s spirit away from her shoulder.

He watches, as she finishes, stands up, and re-adjusts. “It’s time to go”, he says, “we’ll be late”. He holds out his arm and she wraps hers around it and off they go.

“Yes, we're expecting a third”, he tells the cute young hostess at entrance. "Ah yes", she says, "he came early."

"Well, that's not like him", his wife muses as they are ushered over to their table.

Dinner was as expected, an informal formality—catching up, sharing plates, and under the table foot-play; with his own leg being grazed on occasion by accident. The steak was heaven-sent but the wine could stand to have been sent back. A nice time overall.

Table cleared and bellies full they head out.

"Should I just follow behind in my car or"

"Yes, that'd probably just be easiest all around".

The familiar butterflies are back as they drive home and he's content. He's long since stopped carrying a net for them.

Finally they're home. Three, in a house built for two.

They finish off a more spirited wine and slow dance it down.

Once they're out of both wine and steps, his wife leads their third to the stairs as he follows the pair from behind.

In the room again, the adventurous dress strap now hangs loosely off the edge of the bed as his wife beckons from beside it.

He slides smoothly out of his jacket and drapes it over the arm of his chair. He then takes a seat in his perch and watches.