40+ Best The Silent Patient Quotes by Alex Michaelides

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We have compiled a list of quotes from The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides for you to read.


Part One

“Alicia was a kind of genius. “

“Blood was everywhere—splashed on the walls, running in dark rivulets along the floor, along the grain of the wooden floorboards. The officers assumed it was Gabriel’s blood. But there was too much of it. “

“The facts, such as they were, were simple: Alicia was found alone with Gabriel’s body; only her fingerprints were on the gun. There was never any doubt she killed Gabriel. Why she killed him, on the other hand, remained a mystery. “

“I wanted to help start her up again—help Alicia tell her story, to heal and get well. “

“I was fucked-up. “

“I was wrong. I didn’t know it then, but it was too late—I had internalized my father, introjected him, buried him deep in my unconscious. No matter how far I ran, I carried him with me wherever I went. “

“Psychotherapy had quite literally saved my life. More important, it had transformed the quality of that life. The talking cure was central to who I became—in a profound sense, it defined me. I talked about painful memories and suicidal impulses—but couldn’t feel them. “

“I remember my first visit to a secure psychiatric unit. Within a few minutes of my arrival, a patient had pulled down his pants, squatted, and defecated in front of me. A stinking pile of shit. “

“I stubbed out my cigarette, banished my nerves, and went inside. I was shivering—but if I’m honest, it was more with nerves than cold. I was having doubts. “

“That’s a lot. I had fewer keys at Broadmoor. Yeah, well. We stepped up security quite a bit recently—since Stephanie joined us. Who’s Stephanie. “

“The smell of coffee was in the air, mingled with traces of Yuri’s aftershave. The patients mostly glared at me with surly mistrust. The patients were all women—and most had course features, lined, scarred. “

“I don’t really have anything to add. Just that I’m very happy to be here. Excited, nervous, hopeful. And I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone—particularly the patients. I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone—particularly the patients. “

“Elif, I can see you’re angry about the pool cue, I said. I suspect whoever broke it was also angry. It raises the question of what we do with anger in an institution like this. How about we stick with that and talk about anger for a moment. “

“I was struck by the smell inside the room. It smelled different from the rest of the hospital. It didn’t smell like antiseptic or bleach; rather bizarrely, it smelled like an orchestra pit. It smelled of wood, strings and bows, polish, and wax. “

“I thought Diomedes was sounding a little paranoid, but perhaps that was understandable. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing, so I remained diplomatically silent for a moment. And then—I want to ask you something. About Alicia. “

“The whole thing has been a waste of time. I couldn’t imagine Christian offering tissues to his patients. A bright pink box of tissues on the small table struck a discordantly cheerful note—presumably it was placed there by Indira. “

“I’m a fan of your work. I asked Professor Diomedes if we might talk, and he kindly arranged this meeting. I have the advantage of knowing more about you than you do about me. “

“I OPENED ALICIA’S FILE ON MY DESK. Diomedes had volunteered it: You must read my notes. They will help you. “

“The self-portrait—it was important, somehow, I knew that, and understanding why would be central to unlocking this mystery. This painting was Alicia’s sole communication, her only testimony. I made a note to revisit the gallery to look at the painting again. “

“I DESPERATELY NEEDED A CIGARETTE. As I left the Grove, I looked for them in my coat pockets, but they weren’t there. Looking for something. I turned around. “

“I see. And you think Alicia’s not ready to face the truth about her marriage. Is that what you’re saying. You may well be right. Yuri shrugged. And now I’m engaged to a nice girl from Hungary. “

“I was sitting at a bar when he finally showed up. At last, when I’d given up hope of ever finding him—in he walked, the man of my dreams. Better late than never. “

“Studying wasn’t for me, she said. I wanted to get out there and do it—you know. Do what. Act. No. Live. “

“I hung up on her. Brutal, yes—and unkind. I’m not proud of that phone call. But it seemed like the only honest action to take. I still don’t know what I could have done differently. “

“I love you, Kathy. Will you marry me. Yes. “

“I understand now, she whispered in my ear. I understand it all. I love you so much more now. “

“I felt such humility and gratitude for every second we spent together. I was aware how lucky, how incredibly fortunate I was to have such love, how rare it was, and how others weren’t so lucky. Most of my patients weren’t loved. “

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Part Two

“I went to find Diomedes to report on my meeting with Alicia. He was in his office, sorting through piles of sheet music. I wouldn’t go that far. I’m not familiar with the exact dose she’s on—I checked with Yuri. “

“I still get lost sometimes and I’ve been here ten years. “

“In mental health terms, it is—yes. Christian said this as if to imply he might be found in other, larger worlds. I tried to imagine what they might be. I could only imagine him in the gym or in a scrum on the rugby field. “

“And how do you feel about Alicia. I asked her. Indira pondered the question for a moment. I find myself feeling very maternal towards her. “

“I want to help you, Alicia. I need you to believe that. The truth is, I want to help you to see clearly. “

“Alicia—Her fingers were tight around my neck, gripping, choking—I groped for the alarm but couldn’t reach it. Her hands dug deeper—I couldn’t breathe. I made another lunge—this time I managed to grab hold of the alarm. “

“My head feels like she hit me with a fucking hammer. It’s a nasty bruise. You’ll have a lump tomorrow. We’d better keep an eye on it. I never should have left you alone with her. I didn’t give you a choice. “

“Yes, I do. Rage is a powerful communication. The other patients—the zombies who just sit there, vacant, empty—they’ve given up. Alicia hasn’t. “

“I knew at once that Kathy wasn’t there. It was too quiet; she was incapable of quiet. “

“As babies we are trapped in a strange, alien world, unable to see properly, constantly surprised at our bodies, alarmed by hunger and wind and bowel movements, overwhelmed by our feelings. We are quite literally under attack. We need our mother to soothe our distress and make sense of our experience. “

“I could smell marijuana in the air, mingled with the scent of incense and food stalls frying onions. I scanned the crowd. There was no sign of any of the dealers who used to line the bridge, calling out to you as you passed. “

“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 forced myself to read another email. And another. “

“I’d like to talk about your silence. About what it means … what it feels like. And specifically why you stopped talking. “

“I love my wife very much. Did you love your husband. Alicia’s eyes moved. They darted up to my face. We stared at each other. Love includes all kinds of feelings, doesn’t it. Good and bad. “

“I thought of my mother. Could I call her. Turn to her in my moment of desperation and need. I imagined her answering the phone, her voice shaky; just how shaky depended on my father’s mood, and if she’d been drinking. “

“I left the flat. I dug my hands in my pockets and kept my head low. I pounded the streets, walking fast, going nowhere. In my mind I kept going back over our relationship, scene by scene, remembering it, examining it, turning it over, looking for clues. “

“I don’t know. I don’t. What happened. What went wrong. I suspect you know the answer to that. If you would just admit it to yourself. “

“I fell into indignant silence–yet I had a sudden image of Kathy writing all those emails, and how passionate they were, how charged, as if she was getting high from writing them, from the clandestine nature of her relationship with this man. “

“I buried my head in my hands. So all this was inevitable. That’s what you’re saying—I set myself up for this. It’s fucking hopeless. It’s not hopeless. “

“I wanted to reach out and pull her close. I wanted to hold her. But I couldn’t. “

“I simply wasn’t prepared to mutilate myself like that. No matter what Ruth said. Ruth wasn’t infallible. Kathy was not my father; I wasn’t condemned to repeat the past. I could change the future. “

“I’m looking for Elif, Any idea where I can find her. Any reason you want her. Just to say a quick hello. “

“And how are things now. Are you and Alicia on good terms. Oh, yeah, mate. We’re real tight. Best mates. Elif laughed again. “

“I’d rather talk in person, if possible. “

“I was expecting the worst, given his gruff manner on the phone. “

“I hate her. I loathe her. “

“Mood swings. Rages. Violent fits. She’d break things, smash stuff up. Gabriel told me she threatened to murder him on several occasions. I should have listened, done something—after she tried to kill herself, I should have intervened, insisted she got some help. “

“I was the main beneficiary. Alicia had inherited a great deal of money from her father, so Gabriel felt she was well provided for. And so he left the bulk of his estate to me. Of course, he had no idea his estate would become so valuable after his death. Is that it. “

“Don’t play the idiot. You know who I had a call from this morning. Max Berenson. He says you contacted him twice and asked a lot of personal questions. I asked him for some information about Alicia. He seemed fine with it. “

“I felt glad to be out of London—the sky was less oppressive, and I could breathe more easily. “

“No blood, said a voice. But you’ll have a nasty bruise tomorrow. Not to mention a cracking headache. I looked up and saw Paul Rose for the first time. He was standing above me, holding a baseball bat. “

“Just some questions … I wanted to ask you about Alicia. About … her childhood. Paul nodded and poured some whiskey into his mug. He seemed to be relaxing now; the whiskey was having an effect on me too, taking the edge off my pain, and I was thinking better. “

“I recognized her scowling face from the window. She had long white hair, spreading across her shoulders like a spider’s web. “

“I left the house and made my way back to the train station, with a swollen head and a splitting headache. What a fucking waste of time. I’d found out nothing—except it was obvious why Alicia had gotten out of that house as soon as she could. “

“I opened her laptop and tried to access her email—but with no luck. She was logged out. I had to accept that she might never repeat her mistake. Would I keep checking ad nauseam, give in to obsession, driving myself mad. “

“Fine. She shrugged, as if to indicate she couldn’t care less. I didn’t believe that. She idolized Tony, her director, and was forever talking about him—at least she used to; she hadn’t mentioned him quite so much recently. “

“A different artist was hanging in the window now, and despite his possible talent, he lacked Alicia’s notoriety and subsequent ability to draw in the crowds. I entered the gallery, I shivered; it was even colder in here than on the street. “

“You sound more like a detective than a psychiatrist. I’m a psychotherapist. Is there a difference. I’m just trying to understand Alicia’s mental state. How did you experience her mood. “

“Voilà. It’s Gabriel. It’s a good likeness. It’s Gabriel—but Gabriel portrayed as Jesus, crucified, hanging from the cross, blood trickling from his wounds, a crown of thorns on his head. “

“Alicia was so intensely alive. … It was hard to take your eyes off her. Jean-Felix turned his head back to the painting and gazed at Alicia’s naked body. So beautiful. “

“I found something about Jean-Felix hard to stomach. Yes, love was in his eyes—but love for the painting, not necessarily the painter. “

“Why does she not speak. “

“I’m not very musical. I was told so in no uncertain terms by my music teacher at school. Like therapy, music is about a relationship, entirely dependent on the teacher you choose. No doubt that’s true. Possibly. “

“If Alicia is dead … like Alcestis, then we need to bring her back to life. Correct. “

“I THINK IT’S A GREAT IDEA, said Rowena. You do. I tried not to look surprised. Really. Oh, yes. Only problem is, Alicia won’t go for it. “

“The raised voices of the diners created a cacophony of noise, born from an uncomfortable excitement when all the patients were in the same space. I’m not eating this shit. She pushed away her tray. “

“Borderlines are seductive, I heard him saying. I was wrong. It was already too late, though I wouldn’t admit this, even to myself. “

“I called Jean-Felix at the gallery. I asked what had happened to Alicia’s art materials—her paints, brushes, and canvases. Is it all in storage. “

“I followed her along the narrow streets. She took a right turn, a left, another right. Then she abruptly stopped. She stood on the corner of Lexington Street. And waited. “

“A man crossed the road toward her. In the few seconds he took to cross the street, I had already assessed him. He was well built. “

“Alicia looked around. Her easel had been unpacked and set up by the window, where there was the most light. She considered it. She stood there for a long time. “

“I recognized the man as myself. I was carrying Alicia in my arms, holding her aloft while the fire licked at my ankles. “

“This is ridiculous. I’ve been coming here for years and nobody ever told me to call ahead before. I can’t stand around waiting all day. I’m an extremely busy person. I’m sorry, Mrs. “

“Alicia, darling, I’ve missed you. You’re so thin, there’s nothing left of you. I’m so jealous. How are you. That awful woman nearly didn’t let me see you. “

“I’m all yours. She smiled flirtatiously. What do you want to know. I have couple of questions, if that’s all right. Well, fire away. “

“Yes, just a few hours before it happened. Barbie paused to gulp some more wine. I went over to see her. I used to pop over all the time, for coffee—well, she drank coffee, I usually took a bottle of something. “

“Alicia was scared. “

“Howls of agony echoing along the corridors. “

“How is Elif. I was waiting in the goldfish bowl and caught Yuri once he returned from the emergency ward. Stable. He sighed heavily. Which is about the best we can hope for. I’d like to see her. Elif. “

“I’m sorry, Elif. Truly sorry. This is an awful thing to happen. A tragedy. Too fucking right. Now, piss off and leave me alone. Tell me what happened. “

“I don’t accept that. You’re possibly too close to see it clearly. The answer is not to drug her up and throw away the key. We’re not jailers. “

“It’s too late for that. This is my fault. Alicia isn’t a suitable candidate for psychotherapy. I should never have allowed it. “

“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. “

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Part Four

“I CLOSED ALICIA’S DIARY and placed it on my desk. I sat there, not moving, listening to the rain pelting outside the window. I tried to make sense of what I had just read. “

“I need a word. Not now, I’m in the middle of lunch. I don’t think that’s appropriate. I’m afraid I don’t. What else does it say in the diary. What else is there to say. “

“Look. If Diomedes finds out, I—I could lose my job. You know that, don’t you. His voice had a pleading note, appealing to my sympathy. But I had no sympathy for Christian. Only contempt. Never mind the professor. “

“Christian stared at me, playing with his chopsticks. He deliberated for a few seconds before he spoke. There’s not much to tell. I don’t know what you want to hear—or where you want me to start. Start at the beginning. “

“I need to see Alicia. Oh, yes. Yuri gave me an odd look. But—I thought the therapy was discontinued. It was. I need to have a private conversation with her, that’s all. Right, I see. Yuri looked doubtful. “

“I’m on your side, Alicia, I said eventually. You know that, don’t you. She didn’t say anything. I took that as a yes. “

“I would have killed for her. “

“I could hear my father shouting. Toughen up. Was that what I should do. Kill him. Dispose of him. It was a way out of this mess—a way to break the spell, release Kathy and set us free. “

“What do you want. Jean-Felix didn’t look particularly pleased to see me. What are you doing here. I just had a couple more questions. Is now a good time. Not really. “

“It might be easier to talk in person. Are you free today at all. Yes, I gathered that. “

“Alicia writes about you in some detail, Max. She said you had romantic feelings for her. I was wondering if—There was a click as he hung up. So far so good. “

“It’s a long story. “

“How did you get the money, then. I—I took it out of my savings. I’d appreciate it if you kept this between us—I don’t want my mother to find out. “

“I was about seven, maybe eight. “

“Because Alicia was hiding. But—she was a child—her mother had just died. He was a mean bastard. The only person he ever cared about was Auntie Eva. I suppose that’s why he said it. “

“He killed me, she said. Dad just killed me. At last, I thought—at last I knew how to reach her. “

“I was getting better at these silences, better at enduring them, settling into them and toughing it out; it had become almost comfortable, sitting in that small room with her, keeping quiet. “

“Professor Diomedes stared at me with a look of stunned amazement. We were outside, smoking. I could tell he was excited because he had dropped his cigar on the ground without even noticing. She spoke. Alicia really spoke. She did. “

“Whether you believe it or not is up to you. “

“At first, when Gabriel … when he was dead—I couldn’t, I tried … but I couldn’t … talk. I opened my mouth—but no sound came out. Like in a dream … where you try to scream … but can’t. “

“I saw him. He was inside—inside the studio. Standing right behind me. He had a knife in his hand. I asked what he wanted. He didn’t speak. And I said I had money in the kitchen, in my bag. “

“Borderlines are so seductive. I was preparing myself. I was getting ready … ready to fight. Ready to—kill him. I told him I needed some water. I went to get a glass. “

“I knew he was. “

“I was tied to the chair, and every time I squirmed, the wire cut deeper into my legs, and they were bleeding. It was a relief to focus on the cutting instead of my thoughts. My thoughts were too scary. … I thought I would never see Gabriel again. “

“What the fuck. What—The man raised the gun and aimed it at Gabriel. There was a gunshot. And another. Alicia started screaming. The man kept firing. He shot Gabriel in the head six times. Then he tossed the gun to the floor. “

“I didn’t. Not a word of it. “

“I felt excited, I suppose. … And anxious. Afraid. Was it your fear, or hers. Both, I imagine. And what were you afraid of. “

“She’s lying, you know. You mean about the man killing Gabriel. I thought so too. Not just that. Then what. All of it. The whole cock-and-bull story. I don’t believe a single word of it. “

“Right in front of me, Kathy’s lover stopped and looked in the direction of the noise, at the house. “

“He was talking to someone I couldn’t see. While they talked, he opened a bottle of wine. They sat down and ate a meal together. Then I caught a glimpse of his companion. It was a woman. Was it his wife. I couldn’t see her clearly. “

“I PLANNED TO HAVE IT out with Alicia first thing in the morning. I intended to make her admit she had lied to me about the man killing Gabriel and force her to confront the truth. “

“But that was not that. Something had been overlooked. Something significant, something no one had noticed—not even Yuri, when he found Alicia unconscious by the bed. “

“I hardly think the Trust is the immediate concern, Stephanie said. The safety of the patients comes first. We need to find out exactly what happened. I see. I did see. I understood now why Stephanie was being cordial to me. “

“No, not anymore. I gave it back to Alicia. It must be in her room. Then we must retrieve it. Diomedes turned to Stephanie. But first, I think we should call the police. Don’t you. “

“Thank you very much indeed, Mr. Faber. Call me Theo. I’d like you to make an official statement, please. And I’ll be talking to you more in due course. “

“I thought he was going to throw a punch at me. “

“I watched him leave. Where was he going. To meet Kathy. I hesitated, but decided not to follow him. Instead I stayed watching the house. I watched his wife through the windows. As I watched, I felt increasingly sure I had to do something to help her. “

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Part Five

“There is nothing so pitiful, Indira said, as seeing all someone’s possessions in a cardboard box. Surprising, really, Indira went on, how few things Alicia had. When you think how much junk the other patients accumulate. . “

“Are we done. asked Indira, interrupting my thoughts. I think so. Good. I have to go, I have a patient at twelve. Go ahead,, I said. See you at lunch. Yes. “

“Between you and me, it’s the kind of opportunity that I dream about. “

“I needed a drink. I went into the kitchen and poured myself a shot of vodka from the freezer. It burned my throat as I swallowed it. I poured another. “

“I wondered what Ruth would say if I went to find her again—as I did six years ago—and confessed all this to her. But I knew it was impossible. That I was altogether a different creature now, a guiltier thing, less capable of honesty. “

“I really think it’s better if I—Yes. Nothing. Will you read it aloud. Very well. Theo just left. I am alone. “

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