The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Read Online (FREE)
He left without saying a word.
SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. Alicia Berenson didn’t kill her husband. A faceless intruder broke into their home and, in an apparently motiveless act of malice, shot Gabriel dead before vanishing into the night. Alicia was entirely innocent.
That’s if you believe her explanation.
I didn’t. Not a word of it.
Apart from her obvious inconsistencies and inaccuracies—such as that Gabriel was not shot six times, but only five, one of the bullets being fired at the ceiling; nor was Alicia discovered tied to a chair, but standing in the middle of the room, having slashed her wrists. Alicia made no mention to me of the man’s untying her, nor did she explain why she hadn’t told the police this version of events from the start. No, I knew she was lying. I was annoyed that she had lied, badly and pointlessly, to my face. For a second I wondered if she was testing me, seeing whether I accepted the story? If so, I was determined to give nothing away.
I sat there in silence.
Unusually, Alicia spoke first. “I’m tired. I want to stop.”
I nodded. I couldn’t object.
“Let’s carry on tomorrow,” she said.
“Is there more to say?”
“Yes. One last thing.”
“Very well. Tomorrow.”
Yuri was waiting in the corridor. He escorted Alicia to her room, and I went up to my office.
As I have said, it’s been my practice for years to transcribe a session as soon as it’s ended. The ability to accurately record what has been said during the past fifty minutes is of paramount importance to a therapist—otherwise much detail is forgotten and the immediacy of the emotions lost.
I sat at my desk and wrote down, as fast as I could, everything that had transpired between us. The moment I finished, I marched through the corridors, clutching my pages of notes.
I knocked on Diomedes’s door. There was no response, so I knocked again. Still no answer. I opened the door a crack—and there was Diomedes, fast asleep on his narrow couch.
“Professor?” And again, louder: “Professor Diomedes?”
He woke with a start and sat up quickly. He blinked at me.
“What is it? What’s wrong?”
“I need to talk to you. Should I come back later?”
Diomedes frowned and shook his head. “I was having a brief siesta. I always do, after lunch. It helps me get through the afternoon. It becomes a necessity as you get older.” He yawned and stood up. “Come in, Theo. Sit down. By the looks of you, it’s important.”
“I think it is, yes.”
I nodded. I sat in front of the desk. He sat down behind it. His hair was sticking up to one side, and he still looked half-asleep.
“Are you sure I shouldn’t come back later?”
Diomedes shook his head. He poured himself a glass of water from a jug. “I’m awake now. Go on. What it is?”
“I’ve been with Alicia, talking.… I need some supervision.”