After Martin's doubt of not being able to manage living out of the institute, Colin felt that he needed to prove that he could do it. He had decided that Martin should go out and explore the area where he was living, without feeling alone. Colin had suggested to Martin that they should look around the area together so that Martin could familiarise himself with his new hometown and feel more relaxed living there.
'Everything about going out today will be on your terms.' Colin told Martin. 'If it gets too much, tell me and we can take a break, or come back home.'
'Okay.' Martin concurred, 'It's a good idea, I guess.'
'Yeah, it will be good for you.' Colin chimed, 'You won't need to speak to anyone yet if you don't feel up to it. You don't even have to talk to me if you don't want to. I'll just let you walk and take everything in and then-'
'Colin,' Martin cut him off, 'It'll be okay. It makes sense that I explore the surroundings. Let's go.' He said as he walked to the door. It was almost like he had a new confidence as he gripped the door handle and open the door. Then the breeze from outside hit him and his confidence was suddenly gone, he wanted to turn back and run back inside. He knew that he could do exactly that if he really wanted to. But what he wanted to do most, was feel this breeze back at the psychiatric institute; he still didn't feel suited to this kind of life.
'Martin?' Colin questioned, 'You don't have to do it,' he reminded him. 'Opening the door with the confidence that you did was a huge achievement even if it didn't feel like it.'
To Martin, it wasn't. It was a day to day thing that everyone did. He even opened and closed doors back when he was at the institute. When he opened this door, he didn't feel any different until he saw what was outside wasn't the vast amount of greenery that he was so familiar too. 'No. I need to do this.' He insisted, 'If I don't then I won't improve.' He felt like that was the realisation that he had needed all along; it was almost true. If he didn't experience his freedom and his town now, he felt like he never would and so he wouldn't be helping himself at all. Taking a deep breath in, he stepped out of the door and into his street, Colin followed closely behind closing and locking the door before they walked to the end of the street.
'At this point, we could turn back and go back home.' Colin told Martin.
'What would be the point of that? I've made it this far; I want to see how much further I can go.' Martin chirped. It was almost as if he were encouraging Colin to walk further. He was telling Colin that everything was going to be fine. He carried on walking to the next street and the next street until they reached a park. Martin began to slow down; he felt his breaths get shorter as he began to panic at the amount of people wondering around. Suddenly the volume of the place felt a lot louder and it was echoing around Martin. He threw his hands up to his ears and closed his eyes shut tight. Colin placed his arms around Martin's shoulders to support him, 'Come let's go and sit down.' He said as he began to lead Martin away from the crowd that had now started to stare at him. Colin knew that he could've taken Martin home, but he needed to calm him down first and make sure that he was ok to leave; if he didn't then Martin could panic even more due to being quickly moved. They walked to a bench that was situated down a slight bank from the car park. Very few people were walking here, so Colin figured it was the best place for Martin to calm down and feel comfortable. Through all of the panic and making sure that Martin was alright, Colin had failed to notice the woman who sat in her car looking down at them; watching them. The woman couldn't hear anything that the two men were saying but she could see what they were doing. She saw Colin point across to the kiosk then walk across in that direction, leaving Martin sat on the bench on his own unaware of the blonde haired woman who sat and observed him.
When Colin returned he held two cups tea in his hands and the car had gone. Only a few people were in the area but they didn't stop to talk to them, they continued to walk past them and carry on with their business. Martin took the cup that was offered to him as Colin sat down beside him.
'How are you feeling now?' Colin asked Martin.
'Better.' Martin replied, 'It is nice being out here.' He said as he held his tea in his hands, trying to keep his steady shake under control.
Colin took a sip of his tea and looked around, 'Yeah it is,' he agreed.
'Being in the institute for so long, I had forgotten how much I loved sitting in a park and enjoying the nature that surrounding me.' Martin admitted.
'It can bring a lot of peace,' Colin said, 'So apart from the couple of - let's call them blips - that you have had, how do you think you are adjusting to new life?,' he asked.
'Well...um...I guess I'll get used to it.' Martin said as he continued to look at his hand.
'Well you seem determined to do stuff, like earlier on when we left the house,' Colin paused, 'And just now when you had your panic attack, you could've easily told me that you wanted to leave but you didn't. You are getting stronger.'
'I guess so,' Martin agreed. 'I'm trying to forget m past, try to think that it never happened.'
'You'll be a brand new person before you now it.' Colin said with great confidence.
Martin began to take a sip of his drink, but his hands shook too much for him to control as he said 'I will.' It wasn't so much as a statement but a question, but Colin hadn't heard the questioning tone of Martin's voice. Martin placed his cup down onto the floor as he placed his elbows on his knees and took a deep breath.
Colin was still unaware as to what was happening with Martin as he said, 'Maybe soon you could start to go out and meet people alone, or if not alone with me and we can talk to some people. We can start easy-'
But Martin wasn't listening anymore; Colin's voice had become a quiet background noise, it was muffled and detached. Martin had started to feel disconnected from his surroundings, he felt dizzy like the world was spinning too quickly, too out of control. He tried to look around as he heard Colin's voice get clearer again.
'So what do you think?'
But Martin couldn't gather a response, his heart was racing faster and his vision had began to blur. He grabbed the elastic band on his wrist and started to mess with it. It was supposed to help him in situations like this but at this moment it wasn't working.
Colin was still talking about groups that people like Martin join to reconnect with people, 'I can look into them for you if you want.' He said as he turned his gaze to look at him. 'Martin!' His voice was almost a shout as he gripped Martin's arm to try and support him. But Martin was shaking too violently, his breathing had gotten heavier, his palms sweatier and his skin paler.
There was ringing in Martin's ears, then everything went black.
A news report played on every channel; a blonde haired woman walked into her living room and switched the TV on. The news report rang out through her house 'An investigation into the death of Ben Foster is still ongoing. New light on the investigation shows that the death was a hit and run.' The woman turned the TV off quickly and dropped the remote onto her sofa. She stared at her TV before placing her head in her hands and letting herself cry.