After yesterday's incidents, Martin never expected to feel as confident as he did. He had expected to feel weak and lifeless, almost unable to function correctly. But he didn't; he felt alive and ready for anything so he got out of bed that morning and waited for Colin to arrive. Colin had said that for the first few weeks he would be dropping by every day, sometimes he said he might even stay in the spare room. Sleeping in the spare room was what he had suggested to Martin last night, but Martin didn't want that; he wanted to feel like he could stronger on his own, he wanted to regain his confidence without having to lean on someone else, but most of all he wanted to prove to himself that he could do this.
Colin had expected Martin to still be in bed when he let himself into the house and walked into the kitchen to make tea for them both, so seeing Martin standing at the kitchen counter with a mug already in his hand was a shock.
'You're up earlier than I expected you to be,' he stated. 'How are you feeling after yesterday?'
'After I got home, I realised that I probably just needed a bit of time alone.' Martin admitted. 'It was all a lot for me to take on, but I enjoyed the parts where I felt calm and in control.'
'Yeah, as long as you feel in control, I think that's where you will feel more confident.' Colin agreed, 'But as long as you are feeling better today, I was thinking-'
Martin interrupted Colin, 'I've been thinking too,' he started, 'I was thinking that today I could go out on my own.'
The look on Colin's face clearly showed an objection but Martin continued, 'I know that after yesterday you probably don't like the idea but I think it will test me even more. It will be good for me.' He nodded almost in agreement with himself.
'But what if you have another episode like yesterday?' Colin asked slightly worried/
'Hopefully I won't.' Martin said, he was confident and he had assured himself that he was in control.
'But you'll be alone if anything happens.' Colin stressed to him, although this is what all carers want of their patients, Colin couldn't help but feel this was too soon and Martin was pushing himself too much.
But it didn't seem to worry Martin; he didn't seem fazed by everything that could go wrong or that he could lose control of. He just smiled when he said, 'Then I'll have to try and deal with it myself and try to calm myself down.'
'Okay, well you seem like you're in control. I'm sure you'll be fine. Shall I wait here for you? Or do you need driving anywhere? I'll take you if you want.' Colin fired out, he was clearly worried about this but he knew that he had to let Martin do what he felt he was capable of.
'It's okay. I'm going to walk it. I'm going to the same park as yesterday, so it's not that far.' Martin seemed to beam with confidence the more he spoke about going out. He threw the keys up from the counter and caught them in his other hand. 'Colin,' he said, 'you don't need to wait for me here. I'll be completely fine.' Then he strutted out of the kitchen as Colin followed him to the door.
As Martin parted ways with Colin, he wondered what he would do whilst he wasn't with Martin. Maybe he'd go back to the institute and work with some other patients, or maybe he'd go home and enjoy the day off that Martin had essentially just given him. Whatever it was that Colin was going to do; Martin knew that Colin would worry about him all day and wouldn't move too far out of the locality just in case something did happen with Martin. But Martin wasn't too concerned about himself at the moment; he still felt very self-assured that he would be able to do this alone, so he took left at the top of his street and headed towards the direction of the park. He was still blissfully unaware of the ongoing investigation that was happening just a few miles away from him, and it was probably better for it to stay that way. Martin arrived at the park fairly quickly and had surprised himself at how he had remembered the way so easily. Before he walked any further, he looked around the area, trying to scope out the most peaceful area with as few people as possible. He hadn't spotted the place straight away but noticed it as he walked around the path. The path was concrete with trees lining the way. Martin kept getting a glimpse of water through the trees but had yet to see what kind of water it was. As he rounded the corner, he noticed a bench that faced and looked right across the water. It wasn't until he reached the bench and sat down that he realised the water was a lake. Suddenly things weren't so peaceful. His mind had begun to race with flashbacks of the lake party.
A long haired brunette woman was sat on a table bench just a few feet away from Martin. She had a notebook on the table as if she was working, and was looking around as if she was looking for someone. If she had seen Martin sit down she hadn't paid any attention to him.
The longer Martin looked across the lake, the more he felt panicked. To support himself, he gripped the bench with his shaking hands as he looked around trying to find something else to focus his attention on. But it didn't work, his hands shook even more and it got more difficult for him to control. He had to move. He had to go somewhere else. Shaking, he stood up and began to move away from the bench. His vision had started to blur and he had a shortness of breath. He tried to grab hold of a low-hanging branch of a tree but it was only thin and too flimsy to support him. He stumbled as the branch swung from his grip, but he had to keep moving and not give into his panic or his fears. Martin was walking in the direction of the woman sitting at the table, she had noticed his unsteadiness and stood up to help him, but before she could get to him he tripped and fell towards the table, throwing his hands out and clutching the metal slats of the table to regain his balance. The woman helped him to sit down as she asked, 'Are you ok?'
'Yes...Yes... I'm fine.' Martin said between breaths. He had been advised to focus on his breathing in times like this, both whilst he was in the institute and before he left.
The woman sat back down across the table from him 'Have you just been released?'
Released from where? Martin thought. How did she know? Or did she think that he was a criminal? Martin didn't respond, he just stared at her in confusion.
The woman didn't get annoyed with him; she smiled politely and nodded towards his wrist, 'The elastic band on your wrist, it gives it away, a common technique used by psychiatric institutes. They give them to patients who are leaving. It's used to give them something to focus their attention on and try to calm them down.'
Martin was still a little confused by her sudden knowledge of such a rare thing. 'How do you know?' He asked.
That's when the woman lifted her badge that was hanging from her lanyard, 'I'm a mental health nurse.' She said, 'I know my stuff.'
Her smile was warm and inviting, Martin instantly felt relaxed around her, and he felt that he could trust her. That's why he sighed, 'It hardly ever works.'
'No many patients say that. Do you get attacks very often?' She asked.
'Well I've normally got somebody with me,' Martin stated, 'this is my first time out alone.' He wouldn't normally open up about this topic with a complete stranger; he never thought he would be talking to someone that he didn't know so soon. But he was, and it didn't feel strange or out of his control. 'I was released a couple of days ago.' Martin continued.
'You're doing great then if you feel so strong as to come out by yourself,' the nurse said, 'With people I've previously worked with it's taken weeks and even months before being alone.'
Martin nodded in agreement; he had been told that so many times before.
'I'm Georgia White by the way.' She informed him.
'Martin,' he said as he held out his hand, 'Martin Fox.' He knew that his surname didn't need to be revealed to her but he simply trusted Georgia already. Part of him felt relieved that he was managing to talk to someone other than Colin.
'How do you feel now?' Georgia asked him.
Martin thought about it for a second, 'A little better thank you.' Martin replied.
Georgia smiled, 'That's good, and you're recovering from the attack pretty quickly. It shows that you are stronger than you think. I'll go and get us a coffee.'
'Oh no, you don't need to do that.' Martin said as he motioned his hand to kindly reject her offer.
But Georgia had already stood up, 'I insist,' she chirped, 'it'll help rebuild some energy. I won't be long.' Se said as she began to walk away.
'Wait, Georgia,' Martin called, 'you look familiar. Do I know you from somewhere?' He asked.
'I don't think so,' she smiled, 'I have one of those faces. I get it all the time.' She let out a small laugh and walked towards a kiosk.
But Martin could've sworn that he had seen her somewhere before, he didn't know where but he knew that he recognised her face. Maybe she had visited the institute in the past. Whenever he had seen Georgia before wasn't important, remembering where was because he recognised her from somewhere and he very rarely forgets faces. There was just something about Georgia White that seemed familiar.