Chapter no 65

The Silent Patient

I LEFT THE GROVE and lit a cigarette. I heard a man’s voice calling my name. I looked up, expecting it to be Jean-Felix. But it wasn’t him.

It was Max Berenson. He was getting out of a car and charging toward me.

“What the fuck?” he shouted. “What happened?” Max’s face was bright red, contorted with anger. “They just called and told me about Alicia. What happened to her?”

I took a step backward. “I think you need to calm down, Mr. Berenson.” “Calm down? My sister-in-law is lying in there in a fucking coma

because of your negligence—”

Max’s hand was clenched in a fist. He raised it. I thought he was going to throw a punch at me.

But he was interrupted by Tanya. She hurried over, looking just as angry as he was—but angry with Max, not me. “Stop it, Max! For Christ’s sake. Aren’t things bad enough? It’s not Theo’s fault!”

Max ignored her and turned back to me. His eyes were wild.

“Alicia was in your care,” he shouted. “How did you let it happen?


Max’s eyes filled with angry tears. He was making no attempt to disguise his emotions. He stood there crying. I glanced at Tanya; she obviously knew about his feelings for Alicia. Tanya looked dismayed and drained. Without another word, she turned and went back to their car.

I wanted to get away from Max as fast as possible. I kept walking.

He kept shouting abuse. I thought he was going to follow, but he didn’t

—he was rooted to the spot, a broken man, calling after me, yelling piteously:

“I hold you responsible. My poor Alicia, my girl … my poor Alicia … You’ll pay for this! You hear me?”

Max kept on shouting, but I ignored him. Soon his voice faded into silence. I was alone.

I kept walking.

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