Today I did one of the most important things I have ever done. I attended a movie.
It doesn’t matter what the movie was. I just knew I had to do it.
I drove to a movie theater that was far from my house. I’m not sure why.
I stood alone at the box office waiting to buy a ticket, hoping the movie would not be showing in theater 9, which was the number of the theater where AJ and his girlfriend went to see Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012.
As I walked into the theater, I looked at the configuration of seats and my eyes went to the first row. AJ and his girlfriend sat in the front row that night.
I decided to take a seat a few rows back.
As all of the sights and sounds of the theater took hold, there was one thing that stood out to me.
The EXIT signs.
I kept looking, analyzing, thinking about where the exits had been relative to AJ on that tragic night.
As the movie played, I kept my eyes on the front row, mentally tracing the steps from that row to the nearest exit. Wondering - how close did AJ get to the exit? I tried to will him forward.
And I thought about my own son, Brandon – the same age as his cousin, AJ…who also attended a midnight premiere of the same movie that night. Also in a theater 9.