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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Read Online (FREE)

“Want some green, mate?”

I looked down and there was a small man. I thought he was a child at first, he was so slight and slender. But his face was a road map of rugged terrain, lined and crossed, like a boy prematurely aged. He was missing his two front teeth, giving his words a slight whistle. “Green?” he repeated.

I nodded.

He jerked his head at me to follow him. He slipped through the crowd and went around the corner and along a backstreet. He entered an old pub and I followed. It was deserted inside, dingy and tattered, and stank of vomit and old cigarette smoke.

“Gissa beer,” he said, hovering at the bar. He was scarcely tall enough to see over it. I begrudgingly bought him half a pint. He took it to a table in the corner. I sat opposite him. He looked around furtively, then reached under the table and slipped me a small package wrapped in cellophane. I gave him some cash.

I went home and I opened the package, half expecting to have been ripped off, but a familiar pungent smell drifted to my nose. I saw the little green buds streaked with gold. My heart raced as though I had encountered a long-lost friend; which I suppose I had.

From then on, I would get high occasionally, whenever I found myself alone in the flat for a few hours, when I was sure Kathy would not be coming back anytime soon.

That night, when I came home, tired and frustrated, and found Kathy out at rehearsal, I quickly rolled a joint. I smoked it out of the bathroom window. But I smoked too much, too fast—it hit me hard, like a punch between the eyes. I was so stoned, even walking felt difficult, like wading through treacle. I went through my usual sanitizing ritual—air freshener, brushing my teeth, taking a shower—and I carefully maneuvered myself to the living room. I sank onto the sofa.

I looked for the TV remote but couldn’t see it. Then I located it, peeking out from behind Kathy’s open laptop on the coffee table. I reached for it, but was so stoned I knocked over the laptop. I propped the laptop up again—and the screen came to life. It was logged into her email account. For some reason, I kept staring at it. I was transfixed—her in-box stared at me like a gaping hole. I couldn’t look away. All kinds of things jumped out before I knew what I was reading: words such as “sexy” and “fuck” in the email headings—and repeated emails from BADBOY22.

If only I’d stopped there. If only I’d got up and walked away—but I didn’t.

I clicked on the most recent email and opened it:

Subject: Re: little miss fuck

From: Katerama_1

To: BADBOY22

I’m on the bus. So horny for you. I can smell you on me. I feel like a slut! Kxx

Sent from my iPhone

_______________________________________

Subject: Re: re: re: little miss fuck