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HOME > Classical Novels > A Thousand Splendid Suns > Chapter 43.
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Chapter 43.
MadamUpstairs, in Mariam's room, Zalmai was wound up. Hebounced his new rubber basketball around for a while, on thefloor, against the walls. Mariam asked him not to, but he knewthat she had no authority to exert over him and so he wenton bouncing his ball, his eyes holding hers defiantly. For awhile, they pushed his toy car, an ambulance with bold redlettering on the sides, sending it back and forth between themacross the room.
Earlier, when they had met Tariq at the door, Zalmai hadclutched the basketball close to his chest and stuck a thumb inhis mouth-something he didn't do anymore except when hewas apprehensive. He had eyed Tariq with suspicion.
"Who is that man?" he said now. "I don't like him."Mariam was going to explain, say something about him andLaila growing up together, but Zalmai cut her off and said toturn the ambulance around, so the front grille faced him, and,when she did, he said he wanted his basketball again.
"Where is it?" he said. "Where is the ball Baba jan got me?
Where is it? I want it! I want it!" his voice rising andbecoming more shrill with each word.
"It was just here," Mariam said, and he cried, "No, it's lost, Iknow it. I just know it's lost! Where is it? Where is it?""Here," she said, fe............
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