The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Read Online (FREE)
“Please,” I said. “Please don’t hurt him. I’m begging you—I’ll do anything, anything you want.”
Theo laughed. I’d come to hate his laugh so much—it was cold, empty. Heartless. “Hurt him?” He shook his head. “I’m going to kill him.”
He meant it. I felt such terror, I lost control of my tears. I wept and pleaded. “I’ll do anything you want, anything—please, please let him live—he deserves to live. He’s the kindest and the best of men—and I love him, I love him so much—”
“Tell me, Alicia. Tell me about your love for him. Tell me, do you think he loves you?”
“He loves me,” I said.
I heard the clock ticking in the background. There seemed to be an age before he replied. “We’ll see,” he said. His black eyes stared at me for a second and I felt consumed by darkness. I was in the presence of a creature that wasn’t even human. He was evil.
He walked around the chair and faced Gabriel. I turned my head as far as I could, but I couldn’t see them. There was a horrible dull thud—I flinched as I heard him strike Gabriel across the face. He hit him again and again, until Gabriel started spluttering and woke up.
“Hello, Gabriel,” he said.
“Who the fuck are you?”
“I’m a married man. So I know what it’s like to love someone. And I know what it’s like to be let down.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“Only cowards betray the people who love them. Are you a coward, Gabriel?”
“I was going to kill you. But Alicia pleaded for your life. So instead, I’m going to give you a choice. Either you die—or Alicia does. You decide.”
The way he spoke was so cool and calm and in control. No emotion. Gabriel didn’t reply for a second. He sounded out of breath, like he’d been punched.
“Yes. Alicia dies, or you die. Your choice, Gabriel. Let’s find out how much you love her. Would you die for her? You have ten seconds to decide.… Ten … nine—”
“Don’t believe him,” I said. “He’s going to kill us both—I love you—”
“—eight … seven—”
“I know you love me, Gabriel—”
“—six … five—”
“You love me—”
“—four … three—”
“Gabriel, say you love me—”
And then Gabriel spoke. I didn’t recognize his voice at first. Such a tiny voice, so far away—a little boy’s voice. A small child—with the power of life and death at his fingertips.
“I don’t want to die,” he said.
Then there was silence. Everything stopped. Inside my body, every cell deflated; wilting cells, like dead petals falling from a flower. Jasmine flowers floating to the ground. Can I smell jasmine somewhere? Yes, yes, sweet jasmine—on the windowsill perhaps …
Theo stepped away from Gabriel and started talking to me. I found it hard to focus on his words. “You see, Alicia? I knew Gabriel was a coward—fucking my wife behind my back. He destroyed the only happiness I’ve ever had.” Theo leaned forward, right in my face. “I’m sorry to do this. But quite frankly, now you know the truth … you’re better off dead.”