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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Read Online (FREE)

Max’s phone rang, distracting him.

I nodded at him to take the call. “Thank you, you’ve been a great help.”

I slipped out of the office. I took a closer look at Tanya in reception—she was blond, pretty, rather petite. She blew her nose, and I noticed the large diamond on her wedding finger.

To my surprise, she got up and walked toward me, frowning. She spoke urgently in a low voice. “If you want to know about Alicia, talk to her cousin, Paul—he knows her better than anyone.”

“I tried calling her aunt, Lydia Rose. She wasn’t particularly forthcoming.”

“Forget Lydia. Go to Cambridge. Talk to Paul. Ask him about Alicia and the night after the accident, and—”

The office door opened. Tanya immediately fell silent. Max emerged and she hurried over to him, smiling broadly.

“Ready, darling?” she asked.

Tanya was smiling, but she sounded nervous. She’s afraid of Max, I thought. I wondered why.

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

Alicia Berenson’s Diary

JULY 22

 

I hate the fact there’s a gun in the house.

We had another argument about it last night. At least I thought that’s what we were fighting about—I’m not so sure now.

Gabriel said it was my fault we argued. I suppose it was. I hated seeing him so upset, looking at me with hurt eyes. I hate causing him pain—and yet sometimes I desperately want to hurt him, and I don’t know why.

He said I came home in a horrible mood. That I marched upstairs and started screaming at him. Perhaps I did. I suppose I was upset. I’m not altogether sure what happened. I had just gotten back from the park. I don’t remember much of the walk—I was daydreaming, thinking about work, about the Jesus picture. I remember walking past a house on my way home. Two boys were playing with a hose. They couldn’t have been older than seven or eight. The older boy was spraying the younger with a jet of water, a rainbow of color sparkling in the light. A perfect rainbow. The younger boy stretched out his hands, laughing. I walked past and I realized my cheeks were wet with tears.

I dismissed it then, but thinking about it now, it seems obvious. I don’t want to admit the truth to myself—that a huge part of my life is missing. That I’ve denied I want children, pretending I have no interest in them, that all I care about is my art. And it’s not true. It’s just an excuse—the truth is I’m scared to have kids. I am not to be trusted with them.

Not with my mother’s blood running through my veins.

That’s what was on my mind, consciously or unconsciously, when I got home. Gabriel was right, I was in a bad state.

But I never would have exploded if I hadn’t found him cleaning the gun. It upsets me so much that he has it. And it hurts me he won’t get rid of it, no matter how many times I beg him. He always says the same thing—that it was one of his father’s old rifles from their farm and he gave it him when he was sixteen, that it has sentimental value and blah blah blah. I don’t believe him. I think there’s another reason he’s keeping it. I said so. And Gabriel said there was nothing wrong with wanting to be safe—wanting to protect his house and wife. What if someone broke in?