A crime scene had emerged and become a reality a mile or two away from Martin's new home. Crime scene tape and police guarded the area whilst forensic officers continually emerged from a white tent. The traffic had started to build up and was now queuing for quite a distance. Camera crews from far and wide were stood as close as they could get reporting the incident to everyone. It was a terrible scene to see, whatever had happened was clearly very serious, and someone had clearly been seriously hurt, or worse had died.
Colin arrived back home with bags of shopping. He struggled to carry them all through the door from his car so called for Martin's help. But he had no response and assumed that he was upstairs and could not hear. When he managed to close the door behind him, he called to Martin again, 'Sorry I'm late. There's been an accident.' He walked through to the kitchen but Martin was still nowhere to be seen. He wasn't even in the garden. 'Martin!' Colin shouted through the house, as he placed the bags on the counter out of the way. He called the name again as he left the kitchen. This time, Colin got more worried. He knew that Martin would not ignore his calls unless he was having a flashback episode, so he hurried upstairs to search for him. Taking two stairs at a time, he ran to Martin's bedroom and swung the door open but he was not there. None of his things had been touched either, indicating that he had not been up there. To be sure, Colin checked his room and the bathroom but Martin wasn't in any of them. Colin stressfully ran back down the stairs into the dining room. He rubbed the back of his head and looked around the house for any clues as to where Martin could've gone. He closed his eyes to think, then looked at the front door and ran to it. The slamming of the door behind him could be heard from down the street.
Martin was walking alone along a secluded path. His hands were shaking frantically causing his whole body to do the same. As he walked, he kept looking behind him as if he was expecting someone to come after him or was looking at where he has come from. But nobody knew he was there, he made sure that nobody followed him. Twigs broke underneath him as the leaves on the trees rustled. Each sound of nature and every faint car in the distance startled him. He couldn't think straight, he needed to escape. Escape this reality and escape his own head. He needed to run.
Colin had searched for Martin for an hour already but still hadn't found him. He had searched places that Martin had often mentioned when in the institute as well as in some of the most isolated areas within the surrounding areas. His last hope of finding him was at the nearby lake. It was a long shot because Colin still wasn't sure how Martin would react to lakes because he hadn't visited one since the accident four years ago. But Colin felt the need to check. So he searched all around the lake but didn't see him. He retraced his steps more times than once and took different ways around in the hopes that he would bump into him. But he never did. Colin had just about reached every negative conclusion about what Martin had done and where he could be when his phone rang in his pocket.
'Hello,' he answered, 'He is...no I'm not sure why he is there either.' He spoke to the person on the phone, 'Yes I'll be there right away.' And with that Colin had hung up and put his phone back into his pocket. He rushed back the way he came and headed n the direction of the psychiatric institute.
When Colin arrived, Martin was sitting alone on the bench where he sat just a few hours before. From experience, Colin knew that he had to approach Martin attentively otherwise Martin could make any kind of brash decision. He was clearly not coping so well and if he was startled he might not open up to Martin about why he had chosen to go back to the institute. Colin called out to Martin carefully as he approached the bench but no response was heard, so Colin decided to sit down on the bench beside Martin. It was almost a mirror image of the morning of his release just hours ago. But something had clearly happened to make Martin doubt his recovery and Colin needed to find out.
'Why did you leave the house?' Colin asked.
Martin stared down at his feet, 'I don't think I can do it.' He said, 'I belong here.'
'Nobody belongs here, Martin. It's just unfortunate when people do. You most definitely don't belong here anymore. It's a big adjustment from here to civilisation.'
'You keep saying that.' Martin almost retorted.
Colin heard the frustration from Martin, 'I promise you that it will get easier.'
Martin began to look around. He glanced at the views and the trees that surrounded the area. He looked at the building and back at where he was sitting, 'But this is my home.' He intoned. There was no rise or fall in his tone; there was no need to change his tone, what he was saying was a fact to him.
'It's not anymore,' Colin exclaimed. He stood up to try and encourage Martin to do the same but Martin did not move, 'Come on, you've spent too long here. It's time to leave, to move on.' Colin said.
Martin knew that Colin was right, it was time to move on but the thought of moving on and leaving worried him, causing him to shake a little. To hide it from Colin, he stood up and walked away from the building once more. They strolled leisurely down the path; Colin knew that he had to stay calm for Martin's benefit. Yes, he had panicked when he couldn't find Martin but right now he had to trust him and let Martin believe that he was in control. When they reached the car park, it wasn't Colin's car waiting for them both instead, a taxi was waiting in a parking bay.
'Where's your car?' Martin asked.
'Oh...it's...um...having a service.' Colin stammered, but Martin was already getting into the taxi as if the answer wasn't important to him now.
Traffic had started to ease when they were travelling back to the house. There was very little conversation between Colin and Martin in the back seat. The taxi was completely silent; Martin preferred it that way, he had even requested for the car radio to be switched off, which the driver kindly obliged. By turning the radio off they did not hear the news report which confirmed that a body found earlier that day had been identified as Ben Foster who was a local businessman.