In the care of Mariam and Rasheed, Laila sleeps fitfully, often murmuring or crying out in her sleep. Rasheed had found her in the rubble of her home after the rocket hit. He tells Laila about the metal shard stuck in her shoulder, and that she was lucky, and that she will make a full recovery.Laila's recovery is slow. While she begins to leave bed more often and take meals with Mariam and Rasheed, she's also often plagued with survivor's guilt — Laila says it should have been her father taking the books out of the house, not her. Mariam is unsure how to comfort her, knowing all too well how empty the kind words of others can be when one is wracked with grief and guilt. After a month with Rasheed and Mariam, a man named Abdul Sharif arrives and insists on speaking with Laila.
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