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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Read Online (FREE)

From: BADBOY22

To: Katerama_1

U r a slut! Lol. C u later? After rehearsal?


Subject: Re: re: re: re: re: little miss fuck

From: BADBOY22

To: Katerama_1

Ok. Will see what time I can get away. I’ll text u.


Subject: Re: re: re: re: little miss fuck

From: Katerama_1


Ok. 830? 9? xx

Sent from my iPhone


I pulled the laptop from the table. I sat with it on my lap, staring at it. I don’t know how long I sat like that. Ten minutes? Twenty minutes? Half an hour? Maybe longer. Time seemed to slow to a crawl.

I tried to process what I had just seen, but I was still so stoned, I wasn’t sure what I had seen. Was it real? Or some kind of misunderstanding—some joke I wasn’t getting because I was so high?

I forced myself to read another email.

And another.

I ended up going through all of Kathy’s emails to BADBOY22. Some were sexual, obscene even. Others were longer, more confessional, emotional, and she sounded drunk—perhaps they were written late at night, after I had gone to bed. I pictured myself in the bedroom, asleep, while Kathy was out here, writing intimate messages to this stranger. This stranger she was fucking.

Time caught up with itself with a jolt. Suddenly I was no longer stoned. I was horribly, painfully sober.

There was a wrenching pain in my stomach. I threw aside the laptop. I ran into the bathroom.

I fell to my knees in front of the toilet and threw up.



“THIS FEELS RATHER DIFFERENT from last time,” I said.

No response.

Alicia sat opposite me in the chair, head turned slightly toward the window. She sat perfectly still, her spine rigid and straight. She looked like a cellist. Or a soldier.

“I’m thinking of how the last session ended. When you physically attacked me and had to be restrained.”

No response. I hesitated.

“I wonder if you did it as some kind of test? To see what I’m made of? I think it’s important that you know I’m not easily intimidated. I can take whatever you throw at me.”

Alicia looked out the window at the gray sky beyond the bars. I waited a moment.

“There’s something I need to tell you, Alicia. That I’m on your side. Hopefully one day you’ll believe that. Of course, it takes time to build trust. My old therapist used to say intimacy requires the repeated experience of being responded to—and that doesn’t happen overnight.”

Alicia stared at me, unblinking, with an inscrutable gaze. The minutes passed. It felt more like an endurance test than a therapy session.

I wasn’t making progress in any direction, it seemed. Perhaps it was all hopeless. Christian had been right to point out that rats desert sinking ships. What the hell was I doing clambering upon this wreck, lashing myself to the mast, preparing to drown?

The answer was sitting in front of me. As Diomedes put it, Alicia was a silent siren, luring me to my doom.