Paragraph from: A Thousand Splendid Suns- Pg. 168-By Khaled Hosseini
Leila waited up, all night hoping that she would hear good news. Her best friend, Tariq, was in the hospital. He was like a brother to her. They spent every minute of every day together, since they were 3, when they had first met. They were now 16. Leila and Tariq lived in a town called Kabul, in Afghanistan. It was becoming more and more dangerous to live where they did, with the war happening. Tariq had already lost a leg to it. It had been midday and Leila was in her house. She had heard a big explosion and looked out to see Tariq, hit by a gunshot, in a pile of debris. He was bleeding and in pain. Leila ran to the yard to help him. All Leila heard were the other gunshots going on around her. She did not care if she got hurt, as long as Tariq was okay.
He had been rushed to the hospital, only to find out that he would only be treated at a different hospital on the other side of Kabul. Once he got there, he stayed in the dirty waiting room for hours, until all the other patients with injuries just like his, had been treated. He was in critical condition, but the nurse told Leila and Leila’s dad had to go and that they were not allowed to come visit him. Only Tariq’s parents could stay. She slowly left with her dad, mustering all the energy she had, for the long walk home.
The next day she awoke from an almost sleepless night, with an empty feeling in her stomach. It pained her to think that Tariq could die. She hated these evil people that had injured her friend. She hated the people that had started this war. Leila waited all day for news about him, but none came. She prayed that he would be okay. That night at dinner, she could not force herself to eat anything. She just thought of Tariq. She cried herself to bed, but even after lying down for hours, sleep did not come. This continued for a painful week, eating very little, hardly sleeping and spending her time alone.
A week after the accident, a man came to the door. He confirmed her fears. Tariq was gone. He was dead. The funeral was to be held the next day, at his house. After, his parents were leaving Afghanistan, for Pakistan, hoping to find a better life and forget their painful memories.
At the funeral, Leila tried to contain herself. But as it went on, she could not hold her tears any longer. She thought about all the good times they had together. The time when Leila’s dad had taken them to a town north of Kabul. How much fun they had going to see the latest movie at the theater in Kabul. Their life before the war had started, when they were able to go wherever they wanted. It made her miss him more than ever.
Everyday, she forced herself to remember him. It stung her to do it, but she was scared she might completely disregard him. It was like an ongoing nightmare how much it scared her that she was beginning to forget him
With the passing of time, she would slowly tire of this exercise. She would find it increasingly exhausting to conjure up, to dust off, and to resuscitate what was long dead. There would become a day in fact, years later, when Leila would no longer bewail his loss. Or not as relentlessly; not nearly. There would become a day when the details of his face would begin to slip from memory’s grip, when overhearing a mother on the street call after her child by Tariq’s name would no longer cut her adrift. She would not miss him as she did now, when the ache of his absence was her unremitting companion-like the phantom pain of an amputee.-Pg. 168-A Thousand Splendid Suns-Khaled Hosseini
When Leila had become an old woman, she still remembered Tariq, but instead of it being so sad to think of him, she found it joyful. All the fun that they had together being no longer memories of missing him and tears, but she thought of it instead of all the good times and happiness. She had long forgotten what he looked like, and she did not miss him as persistently as she used to, but she had new eyes for the tragedy. She thought of him only with joy and was thankful for the years that they had shared together. She would always remember him though, for the rest of her years.