Baba's stony eyes bore into mine and, just like that, I wasn't Nike Shox Shoes laughing anymore. I mean to speak to you man to man. Do you think you can handle that for once??
Yes, Baba jan,?I muttered, marveling, not for the first time, at how badly Baba could sting me with so few words. We'd had a fleeting good moment--it wasn't often Baba talked to me, let alone on his lap--and I'd been a fool to waste it.
Good,?Baba said, but his eyes wondered. Now, no matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. Do you understand that??
No, Baba jan,?I said, desperately wishing I did. I didn't want to disappoint him again.
Baba heaved a sigh of impatience. That stung too, because he was not an impatient man. I remembered all the times he didn't come home until after dark, all the times I ate dinner alone. I'd ask Ali where Baba was, when he was coming Home, though I knew full well he was at the construction site, overlooking this, supervising that. Didn't that take patience? I already hated all the kids he was building the orphanage for; sometimes I wished they'd all died along with their parents.
When you kill a man, you steal a life,?Baba said. You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children Nike Shox Experience of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see??
I did. When Baba was six, a thief walked into my grandfather's house in the middle of the night. My grandfather, a respected judge, confronted him, but the thief stabbed him in the throat, killing him instantly--and robbing Baba of a father. The townspeople caught the killer just before noon the next day; he turned out to be a wanderer from the Kunduz region. They hanged him from the branch of an oak tree with still two hours to go before afternoon prayer. It was Rahim Khan, not Baba, who had told me that story. I was always learning things about Baba from other people.
There is no act more wretched than stealing, Amir,?Baba said. A man who takes what's not his to take, be it a life or a loaf of _naan_... I spit on such a man. And if I ever cross paths with him, God help him. Do you understand??
I found the idea of Baba clobbering a thief both exhilarating and terribly frightening. Yes, Baba.?
If there's a God out there, then I would hope he has more important things to attend to than my drinking scotch or eating pork. Now, hop down. All this talk about sin has made me thirsty again.?
I watched him fill his glass at the bar and wondered how much time would pass before we talked again the Nike Shox Navina way we just had. Because the truth of it was, I always felt like Baba hated me a little. And why not? After all, I _had_ killed his beloved wife, his beautiful princess, hadn't I? The least I could have done was to have had the decency to have turned out a little more like him. But I hadn't turned out like him. Not at all.
IN SCHOOL, we used to play a game called _Sherjangi_, or Battle of the Poems.?The Farsi teacher moderated it and it went something like this: You recited a verse from a poem and your opponent had sixty seconds to reply with a verse that began with the same letter that ended yours. Everyone in my class wanted me on their team, because by the time I was eleven, I could recite dozens of verses from Khayyam, H?fez, or Rumi's famous _Masnawi_. One time, I took on the whole class and won. I told Baba about it later that night, but he just nodded, muttered, Good.?
That was how I escaped my father's aloofness, in my dead mother's books. That and Hassan, of course. I read everything, Rumi, H?fez, Saadi, Victor Hugo, Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Ian Fleming. When I had finished my mother's books--not the boring history ones, I was never much into those, but the novels, the epics--I started spending my allowance on books. I bought one a week from the bookstore near Cinema Park, and stored them in cardboard boxes when I ran out of shelf room.
At one point Baba pointed to someone. Amir, do you see that man sitting up there with those other men Nike Shox Qualify around him??I heard the leather of Baba's seat creaking as he shifted on it. I closed my eyes, pressed my ear even harder against the door, wanting to hear, not wanting to hear. Sometimes I look out this window and I see him playing on the street with the neighborhood boys. I see how they push him around, take his toys from him, give him a shove here, a whack there. And, you know, he never fights back. Never. He just... drops his head and...?
So he's not violent,?Rahim Khan said.
That's not what I mean, Rahim, and you know it,?Baba shot back. There is something missing in that boy.?
Yes, a mean streak.?
Self-defense has nothing to do with meanness. You know what always happens when the neighborhood boys tease him? Hassan steps in and fends them off. I've seen it with my own eyes. And when they come Home, I say to him, ‘How did Hassan get that scrape on his face??And he says, ‘He fell down.?I'm telling you, Rahim, there is something missing in that boy.?
You just need to let him find his way,?Rahim Khan said.
And where is he headed??Baba said. A boy who won't stand up for himself becomes a man who can't stand Nike Shox Turbo up to anything.?
As usual you're oversimplifying.?