After the rape, Amir and Hassan spend less time together. Baba and Amir take a trip to Jalalabad and stay at the house of Baba’s cousin. When they arrive they have a large traditional Afghan dinner. Baba proudly tells everyone about the kite tournament, but Amir does not enjoy it. He says that that was the night he became an insomniac. When Amir and Baba return home, Amir continues not to play with Hassan. When Hassan asks Amir what he did wrong, Amir tells Hassan to stop harassing him. After that, the boys avoid each other. One day, Amir asks Baba if he would ever get new servants.
Baba becomes furious and says that he will never replace Ali and Hassan. With the start of school, Amir spends hours alone in his room. That summer of 1976, Amir turns thirteen. Baba invites more than 400 people to the party he plans. At the party Baba makes Amir greet each guest personally. Assef arrives and acts politely as he jokes with Baba. He tells Amir that he chose the gift himself. Once Amir is alone he opens the gift, a biography of Hitler, which he throws away. The next morning Amir thinks to himself that either he or Hassan must leave Ali gave him a present, a new version of “Shahnamah”.
The morning after, Amir waits for Hassan and Ali to leave. He takes his birthday money and a watch that Baba gave him and puts them under Hassan’s mattress. He tells Baba that Hassan stole them, and when Ali and Hassan return, Baba asks Hassan if he stole the money and the watch. To Amir’s surprise, Hassan says he did. Amir realizes Hassan saw him in the alley, and he knew also that Amir was setting him up now. Baba forgives Hassan, but Ali says they must leave. Baba pleads with him to stay, but Ali refuses. The chapter opens with Baba and Amir crammed into the back of an old Russian truck.
They’re with other refugees on their way to Pakistan. Afghanistan has gotten too dangerous. They pull up to a checkpoint. The Russian soldier manning it seems a little drunk. He tells Karim he’ll let the truck pass if he gets to spend some special alone time with one of the women in the truck. Baba gets up and tells the Russian to shove it. The soldier takes out his gun out of his holster. The gun goes off, but no one gets hit. They arrive at a one-story house, and Karim tells everyone the bad news: No truck to Peshawar. In the basement of the house, more refugees have been waiting for weeks.
Among them are Kamal and his father. Because there’s no truck to take them to Peshawar, Karim comes up with an alternative. His cousin owns a fuel truck, which would work just fine. The fuel truck makes it to Pakistan. A bus is going to take them the rest of the way to Peshawar. Amir (and some of the other refugees) crawl around on the ground, weakened by the fumes. Kamal isn’t breathing. His father is stunned. He somehow gets a hold of Karim’s gun and shoots himself in the head. Baba and Amir have moved to America. Baba isn’t adjusting well to America.
He turns his neighborhood convenience store upside down because they won’t take his check without ID. Amir reveals that Baba works at a gas station. He works a twelve-hour shift six days a week. For a while, Baba and Amir were on welfare. The day Baba gets a job, he goes to the welfare office and returns his food stamps. Amir graduates from high school. Baba gave Amir a present, a Ford Gran Torino. Amir is going to enroll in junior college the next fall. Amir says he’s going to major in Creative Writing. At the flea market, Baba introduces Amir to General Taheri who worked for the Ministry of Defense in Kabul.
Some lovely lady brings the General a cup of coffee. It’s his daughter, Soraya. Amir is smitten. Amir often goes over to the Taheri’s table at the flea market to steal glances at Soraya. Baba gets a cold. It seems harmless, but then Amir catches Baba hacking up blood. They go to a county hospital since Baba doesn’t have health insurance. The doctor finds a spot on Baba’s lung, and sends Baba to a pulmonary clinic. It turned out that Baba had cancer. He doesn’t want Amir to tell anyone about his illness. Baba loses weight. The Sunday after New Year’s Day, Baba has a seizure and collapses at the flea market.
The cancer has spread into Baba’s brain. A radiation specialist tries to talk Baba into getting radiation treatment, but he refuses. When they arrive home, Amir asks Baba to visit General Taheri and formally request Soraya’s hand in marriage. Baba calls the General and sets up a meeting for the next day. Amir drops Baba off at the Taheri’s home. Amir goes back home to wait for Baba to call. The phone rings about an hour after Amir dropped Baba off. The General has accepted. However, Soraya needs to talk to Amir. Amir still wants to marry Soraya.