He told me that Ali and his cousin—who had owned the house—had been killed by a land mine two years before, just outside of Bamiyan. A land mine. Is there a more Afghan way of dying, Amir jan?
Hassan had so many questions about you. Had you married? Did you have children? How tall were you? Did you still fly kites and go to the cinema? Were you happy?
Then he asked me about your father. When I told him, Hassan buried his face in his hands and broke into tears. He wept like a child for the rest of that night.
They named him Sohrab, after Hassan’s favorite hero from the Shahnamah, as you know.
In the wintertime, Hassan took his son kite running. There were not nearly as many kite tournaments as in the old days—no one felt safe outside for too long—but there were still a few scattered tournaments. Hassan would prop Sohrab on his shoulders and they would go trotting through the streets, running kites, climbing trees where kites had dropped. You remember, Amir jan, what a good kite runner Hassan was? He was still just as good.