Tom pulled the bedroom door gently closed behind him, not wishing to wake anyone at such an early hour.
He prided himself on his consideration for others, constantly checking and re checking that he was not causing a problem or offence to anyone who came within his vicinity. He was the type who would dry himself in the shower or bath before stepping on to the bath mat so the next person would have a dry mat to themselves.
As he moved slowly along the corridor to the stair he mused about the wonders of life and how his profession was one which constantly required levels of awareness and consideration that were rare in this day and age.
Reaching the first step Tom was just about to start travelling downward when he heard a sigh drift through the gap between door and frame of the bedroom next to him. Instantly, he was still. He didn’t want to wake anyone, they all needed a good nights sleep as it would be a tiring day for everyone tomorrow.
He had never needed anyone to see him off, being used to working alone late into the night and from very early in the morning. His wife was always grateful for the consideration he showed as he silently climbed into bed on his return each day.
He stopped and waited patiently to see if anything else needed his attention.
The sigh wasn’t repeated and he assumed, rightly, that sleep had overtaken once again.
Even more carefully he made his way silently down the stairs keeping a careful ear on the sounds that emanated from a slumbering house at night.
On reaching the hallway Tom turned back on himself towards the kitchen; once inside he closed the door and sat for a moment before putting on the shoes he had left there when he had come in.
He plucked an apple from the bowl in front of him, it would be a juicy treat for his journey; his wife was always complaining that he never ate his ‘five a day’.
Standing up in a single fluid movement that would have shown his body’s physical form to anyone watching who cared to be impressed, he headed for the kitchen door.
Passing the dresser in the corner he remembered that a birthday present was needed for his son that day and his wife had been insistent that, for once, he make an effort to get it on time. Pulling out the purse from the handbag he removed a hundred pounds in ten pound notes and stuffed them in his pocket feeling pleased he had remembered without having to be reminded.
Unlocking the door quietly he walked through and pulled it gently on to the latch behind him.
Looking at his watch he realized he was late and speeded up his pace along the side of the house to the back gate and along the lane towards the road he had left the car in. Tom let himself in and sat quietly for a moment gathering his thoughts before biting into the apple.
Its flavour was sweet he reflected, a little like the murder he had just committed.