Heyy! Thanks for reading, it means a lot! This chapter is one of my personal favorites so far, so hope you like it! - Calums puppy.
I followed the petite girl down a few stairs and soon enough, we entered a large open space full of plants of all types.
We continued walking down a pebbled pathway, until we came across a small frog pond with water lilies and cattails surrounding it.
I mimicked Avi by sitting on the large rock across from her and gazed into the peaceful pond.
"Wanna play twenty questions?" She asked softly with big hopeful eyes.
I smiled and quickly nodded, excited to be making a few friends while I'm here. "Okay, what's your favorite color?"
Avi blankly looked at me before giggling quietly, "That's too boring! Ask a more detailed question."
I thought deeply, before a grin came across my face, "Are YOU the reason that Michael hasn't quit this dump?"
Avi's cheeks flared up and she began to tug at her sleeves, "N-no, Michael is a fantastic Nurse and he works here because he loves helping people."
I rolled my eyes in disbelief before saying "Mhm, okay, whatever. Your turn."
She thought for a few minutes, before looking to the ground and asking the question I knew was coming- "Why are you here?"
I took a deep breath to prepare myself for what I was about to say. I started to calmly explain things to Avi., "Well I was diagnosed with PTSD after my..." My breathing started to pick up and I started seeing black dots cover my vision.
I closed my eyes hard and squeezed them shut, "My-my family was taken and I was all alone and I...." The memories flooded back in my eyes and I could feel the pressure in my head. My breathing grew hard, I was panicking.
Through my tensed muscles, I felt a soft hand on my back.
"Take three deep breaths, in and out" I listened to the soft voice, "Don't think about the past, focus on the now." I began to follow the instructions, my vision becoming a bit clearer, "Use your senses; focus on my voice, the smell of the flowers, the touch of the ground... And breathe."
When I finished following the spoken-instructions, I began to see everything around me, including Avi who had my head in her lap as she was stroking her hands through my hair.
My eyes widened in embarrassment, seeing as I just had a meltdown publicly.
"Are you okay, now?" Avi asked, a small smile taking place on her face.
I nodded, clearing my throat and sitting up, "T-thank you... If you don't mind me asking, how did you know what to do?"
She paused, "I have panic attacks almost weekly... I've been memorizing the techniques for years, Michael taught me the senses one. Really helps, huh?", she was beaming now.
"Michael taught you?" I asked, "Does he have attacks too?"
"Oh, no no." She giggled, "He's my nurse too, so when he witnessed my continuous panic attacks, he did some research and started to come and use the new information to help me."
I smiled widely, "How long have you been here?"
Her smile seemed to falter a bit, "About two years now, I arrived when I was sixteen."
"Wow, that's young..." I scratched the back of my neck awkwardly, wondering if I just ruined this whole new friendship with a lame question.
"It is," she seemed to zone out for a little bit, before returning to her sentence, "but I've met life-long companions here, and I've never felt less alone than I do here."
I took her words into consideration, maybe this could be my chance to no longer be so alone.
I picked up the packet of paperwork and carried it to the front office.
I dropped it on Miss Clarks desk and she looked at me with a look of supremacy, like she always does.
I gave her a slight smile, hoping that I might get some approval out of her, but I knew It wouldn't work.
Might as will check on the girls, hopefully they're getting along.
I walk out of the front office and towards their hallway. I go towards Avi's room and I noticed that she was gone with Liz.
Where would they go?
Well that's obvious, the garden is the only place here that's nice.
I started making my way down to the garden, waving cooly to the patients and the nurses as I walked along.
I passed my mates Luke, Calum, and Ashton.
Luke was a nurse, like me and probably one of the only ones I could stand here.
Calum and Ashton are patients here and they're pretty cool.
"Hey." I said to the boys. I got warm smiles back from everybody.
"Where you off to?" Questioned Luke.
"Headed to the garden, I'm pretty sure that's where Avi and the new girl are at." The boys exchange knowing looks and I rolled my eyes. "Come on guys, give a man a break."
"Well you better not keep your lady friend waiting, Michael." Ashton laughed.
I sighed and turned away to leave. I walked up to the garden as quick as I could.
By the time I entered the garden, I immediately went to the frog pond that seems to consistently entertain her.
I noticed Liz's tear stained and blotchy cheeks, but the girls seemed deep in conversation, so I decided to just listen in until I could make myself known.
Liz nodded, clearing her throat and sitting up, "T-thank you... If you don't mind me asking, how did you know what to do?"
Know what to do about what? I listened closer.
Avi paused, "I have panic attacks almost weekly... I've been memorizing the techniques for years, Michael taught me the senses one. Really helps, huh?", she was beaming now.
I remember teaching her that one, it worked tremendously and I was so glad I could finally help her faster.
"Michael taught you?" Liz asked, "Does he have attacks too?"
"Oh, no no." Avi giggled, I loved that sound, "He's my nurse too, so when he witnessed my continuous panic attacks, he did some research and started to come and use the new information to help me."
I also remember that one. I stayed up all night long, just researching techniques to help panic disorders. I didn't even go home that night, I slept in my office.
Liz smiled widely, "How long have you been here?"
Avi's smile seemed to falter a bit, and I understood why, being submitted into a mental institution at the young age of sixteen must've been really hard. However, I've been Avi's nurse for two years now, and I can gladly say I wouldn't wish a moment away.
When I tuned back in on the conversation, Avi seemed to zone out for a little bit, before returning to her sentence, "but I've met life-long companions here, and I've never felt less alone than I do here."
A light blush coated my cheeks, and I decided now would be a good time to make myself known.
"And you're not alone, baby." I smiled.
A panicked look came across Avi's face, before she relaxed with a small smile, "I know, Mikey."
I continued staring at her blushing figure, until Liz cleared her throat with a huge smirk on her face.
"Uhm... Wanna go get some lunch?" I asked, looking away.
"Duh, I'm starving." Avi laughed, grabbing Liz and pulling themselves to their feet.
Liz and Avi began walking back toward the doors and I got behind Avi and whispered into her ear, "I'm so proud of you, you stayed calm the whole time and just wow baby-girl."
I noticed her breathing disappear and Liz looked at her with curious eyes, "You alright?"
Avi nodded, coughing to catch her breath and gave me a playful glare, before grabbing Liz's hand and quickening their pace toward the screen doors.
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