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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Read Online (FREE)

“Text it to me so I can look at it with my glasses on. It looks like a blurry smudge to me. Tell me. Have you mentioned this to your husband yet?”

I decided to lie. “No. Not yet.”

Barbie gave me a funny look. “Why not?”

“I don’t know, I suppose I worry Gabriel might think I’m exaggerating—or imagining it.”

“Are you imagining it?”

“No.”

Barbie looked pleased. “If Gabriel doesn’t take you seriously, we’ll go to the police together. You and me. I can be very persuasive, believe me.”

“Thanks, but I’m sure that won’t be necessary.”

“It’s already necessary. Take this seriously, honey. Promise me you’ll tell Gabriel when he gets home?”

I nodded. But I had already decided not to say anything further to Gabriel. There was nothing to tell. I have no proof the man was following me or watching me. Barbie was right, the photo proves nothing.

It was all in my imagination—that’s what Gabriel will say. Best not to say anything to him at all and risk upsetting him again. I don’t want to bother him.

I’m going to forget all about it.

4:00 A.M.

It’s been a bad night.

Gabriel came home, exhausted, at about ten. He’d had a long day and wanted to go to bed early. I tried to sleep too, but I couldn’t.

Then a couple of hours ago, I heard a noise. It was coming from the garden. I got up and went to the back window. I looked out—I couldn’t see anyone, but I felt someone’s eyes on me. Someone was watching me from the shadows.

I managed to pull myself away from the window and ran to the bedroom. I shook Gabriel awake.

“The man is outside,” I said, “he’s outside the house.”

Gabriel didn’t know what I was talking about. When he understood, he started to get angry. “For Christ’s sake. Give it a rest. I’ve got to be at work in three hours. I don’t want to play this fucking game.”

“It’s not a game. Come and look. Please.”

So we went to the window—

And of course, the man wasn’t there. There was no one there.

I wanted Gabriel to go outside, to check, but he wouldn’t. He went back upstairs, annoyed. I tried reasoning with him, but he said he wasn’t talking to me and went to sleep in the spare room.

I didn’t go back to bed. I’ve been sitting here since then, waiting, listening, alert to any sound, checking the windows. No sign of him so far.

Only a couple more hours to go. It will be light soon.

AUGUST 15

Gabriel came downstairs ready to go to the shoot. When he saw me by the window and realized I’d been up all night, he went quiet and started acting strange.

“Alicia, sit down. We need to talk.”

“Yes. We do need to talk. About the fact that you don’t believe me.”

“I believe that you believe it.”

“That’s not the same thing. I’m not a fucking idiot.”