The frantic shuffling of those nearby did nothing to affect his concentration.
He had been trained for this, had learnt to hone his senses and remain focussed as he strode with purpose down the stairs and towards the door. In that darkened room Aiden Thomas was calm and calculated; he breathed slowly, hands steady at his side.
Taking lives was just part of the job and his expression remained focussed. As people scrambled with coats, bags and mobile phones whilst they were guided to the exits, they had no idea that they were brushing shoulders with a cold blooded killer.
Stood amongst them now, Aiden envied their innocence as they shuffled forward and filtered through the doors and back to their everyday existences. For him, life could never be normal or straightforward. He had forfeited his right to a simple life a long time ago and now he would never drop his guard- danger lurked around every corner.
Walking through the double doors and into the lobby he broke away from the meandering droves of people who squinted and strained as their eyes adjusted to the bright light. Regaining his composed swagger, Aiden approached the young lady who held the door open for him. Unable to resist just the slightest of smiles, he saw her melt with attraction as her face flushed red and her eyes shyly met his own. She felt his danger, the mystery that enshrouded his every movement. Like so many women before her, she was powerless to resist the charm he so effortlessly conveyed.
It was at this point the illusion faded for Aiden
Lost in this stranger’s gaze he scuffed his shoe on a raised bit of carpet, flinging himself through the doorway and grasping at the outstretched arm of the girl who instinctively sought to prevent his fall. He had never been good with eye contact, particularly with women, and especially with those he was attracted too. It was as if they could see into his mind and hear aloud what he was thinking and the thought of that terrified him. If anyone ever managed to tap in to the insane wanderings that buzzed between his ears from day to day they would, Aiden was sure of it, brand him as an insane and perverted weirdo.
Now he looked up to the face of the girl who half cradled him as he continued to cling to her arms like a kid who won’t leave his mum on the first day at school. Eventually regaining himself, Aiden sprang from his saviour, and attempted to thank her, but his disbelief at how such an event could go so horribly wrong had rendered him just short of speechless. Worse, in fact, as all he could muster was a panicked squawk, like some freakish mating call. Torturous even to his own ears, Aiden’s dark green eyes became awash with dismay.
The girl, seeing the physical collapse of this, a grown man, swiftly turned her head and allowed herself to leak the small (yet not so subtle) giggle she could no longer contain. At this point, Aiden felt the all-too familiar embarrassment that so often bound itself to him like a grisly knitted sweater he could never take off. Quickly he left the cinema, stepping out onto the street.
Aiden loved to watch films. They allowed him to dream, to escape and be someone other than himself, someone better. For those brief seconds after the film he was untouchable; a hero, a secret agent, anything he wanted to be. But Aiden was no hero. He would never truly know how it felt to be brave and dangerous, to have secret powers or to be lusted after by a beautiful stranger. Instead he would indulge himself in fantasy, allowing his imagination to lure him toward daydreams that made the hours float by and refuse to let go, lovingly smothering him. He was a willing audience to these improved versions of himself, and why wouldn’t he be? Aiden Thomas knew himself to be distinctly and uncompromisingly average in everything he experienced and, to his own knowledge, so would he always remain.