The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Read Online (FREE)
Christian bit his lip and didn’t reply. So the answer was no. That was why he hadn’t come forward at Alicia’s trial. I wondered how many other patients he was seeing “unofficially” and not declaring the income from them.
“Look. If Diomedes finds out, I—I could lose my job. You know that, don’t you?” His voice had a pleading note, appealing to my sympathy.
But I had no sympathy for Christian. Only contempt. “Never mind the professor. What about the Medical Council? You’ll lose your license.”
“Only if you say something. You don’t need to tell anyone. It’s all water under the bridge at this point, isn’t it? I mean, it’s my career we’re talking about, for fuck’s sake.”
“You should have thought of that before, shouldn’t you?”
Christian must have hated having to crawl to me like this, but watching him squirm provided me with no satisfaction, only irritation. I had no intention of betraying him to Diomedes—not yet anyway. He’d be much more use to me if I kept him dangling.
“It’s okay,” I said. “No one else needs to know. For the moment.”
“Thank you. Seriously, I mean it. I owe you one.”
“Yes, you do. Go on.”
“What do you want?”
“I want you to talk. I want you to tell me about Alicia.”
“What do you want to know?”
CHRISTIAN STARED AT ME, playing with his chopsticks. He deliberated for a few seconds before he spoke.
“There’s not much to tell. I don’t know what you want to hear—or where you want me to start.”
“Start at the beginning. You saw her over a number of years?”
“No—I mean, yes—but I told you, not as frequently as you make it sound. I saw her two or three times after her father died.”
“When was the last time?”
“About a week before the murder.”
“And how would you describe her mental state?”
“Oh…” Christian leaned back in his chair, relaxing now that he was on safer ground. “She was highly paranoid, delusional—psychotic, even. But she’d been like this before. She had a long-standing pattern of mood swings. She was always up and down—typical borderline.”
“Spare me the fucking diagnosis. Just give me the facts.”
Christian gave me a wounded look but decided not to argue. “What do you want to know?”
“Alicia confided in you she was being watched, correct?”
Christian gave me a blank look. “Watched?”
“Someone was spying on her. I thought she told you about it?”
Christian looked at me strangely. Then, to my surprise, he laughed.
“What’s so funny?”
“You don’t really believe that, do you? The Peeping Tom spying through the windows?”
“You don’t think it’s true?”
“Pure fantasy. I should have thought that was obvious.”
I nodded at the diary. “She writes about it pretty convincingly. I believed her.”
“Well, of course she sounded convincing. I’d have believed her too if I hadn’t known better. She was having a psychotic episode.”
“So you keep saying. She doesn’t sound psychotic in the diary. Just scared.”