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This is an interesting bit of information regarding the background of Rahim Khan, Baba's best friend. When he joined Amir on the night of his birthday, he told Amir that he had once been in love--with a young Hazara girl. Rahim and Homaira would sneak out after midnight and make plans about their future, but when Rahim announced to his father that he was in love with their servant,
"My mother actually fainted... My brother Jalal actually went to fetch his hunting rifle before my father stopped him."
Rahim's father sent Homaira and her family to Hazarajat--the same place where Ali and Hassan were exiled--the next day.
"I never saw her again."
Rahim was Baba's friend and "alter ego"--and Amir's "mentor, my pal," but he had never envisioned Rahim married or in love. The scene serves to foreshadow Ali's and Hassan's departure and how the Afghan culture would never accept the Hazaras as equals. In Rahim's case,
"It was Homaira and me against the world... In the end, the world always wins."
Rahim relates this story, and then tells Amir that "You know, you can tell me anything you want... Anytime...", because he seems to have mysteriously known about Amir's betrayal of Hassan on the day of the kite-flying competition. And Amir almost admitted the truth, but he was afraid that, like Baba, Rahim would also "hate me, and rightfully." Rahim will not give up on Amir, however, though it would be years before he would be able to provide the impetus for the atonement that Amir so desperately needed--"a way to be good again."
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