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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Read Online (FREE)

I felt intensely irritated at his defeatism, his weary acceptance. “The answer is not to drug her up and throw away the key. We’re not jailers.”

“I agree.” Indira gave me a supportive smile and went on, “The problem is we’ve become so risk averse, we’d rather overmedicate than take any chances. We need to be brave enough to sit with the madness, to hold it—instead of trying to lock it up.”

Christian rolled his eyes and was about to object, but Diomedes spoke first, shaking his head. “It’s too late for that. This is my fault. Alicia isn’t a suitable candidate for psychotherapy. I should never have allowed it.”

Diomedes said he blamed himself, but I knew he was really blaming me. All eyes were on me: Diomedes’s disappointed frown; Christian’s gaze, mocking, triumphant; Stephanie’s hostile stare; Indira’s look of concern.

I tried not to sound as if I was pleading. “Stop Alicia painting if you must. But don’t stop her therapy—it’s the only way to reach her.”

Diomedes shook his head. “I’m beginning to suspect she’s unreachable.”

“Just give me some more time—”

“No.” The note of finality in Diomedes’s voice told me that arguing further was pointless. It was over.



DIOMEDES WAS WRONG ABOUT IT SNOWING. It didn’t snow; instead it started raining heavily that afternoon. A storm with angry drumbeats of thunder and lightning flashes.

I waited for Alicia in the therapy room, watching the rain batter the window.

I felt weary and depressed. The whole thing had been a waste of time. I had lost Alicia before I could help her; now I never would.

A knock at the door. Yuri escorted Alicia into the therapy room. She looked worse than I expected. She was pale, ashen, ghostlike. She moved clumsily, and her right leg trembled nonstop. Fucking Christian, I thought—she was drugged out of her mind.

There was a long pause after Yuri left. Alicia didn’t look at me. Eventually I spoke. Loudly and clearly, to make sure she understood.

“Alicia. I’m sorry you were put in seclusion. I’m sorry you had to go through that.”

No reaction.

I hesitated. “I’m afraid that because of what you did to Elif, our therapy has been terminated. This wasn’t my decision—far from it—but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’d like to offer you this opportunity to talk about what happened, to explain your attack on Elif. And express the remorse I’m sure you’re feeling.”

Alicia said nothing. I wasn’t sure my words were penetrating her medicated haze.

“I’ll tell you how I feel. I feel angry, to be honest. I feel angry that our work is ending before we’ve even properly begun—and I feel angry that you didn’t try harder.”

Alicia’s head moved. Her eyes stared into mine.

“You’re afraid, I know that. I’ve been trying to help you—but you won’t let me. And now I don’t know what to do.”

I fell silent, defeated.

Then Alicia did something I will never forget.