Sohrab wraps himself in the silence of deep depression during the first seven months he is in San Francisco. He had come to the United States with Amir because he had no other options; traumatized by his experiences in Afghanistan and unable to trust because the adults in his life had been forced to break promise after promise, he has withdrawn into himself. He is unresponsive and silent, with
"the silence of one who has taken cover in a dark place, curled up all the edges and tucked them under...he didn't so much live...as occupy space, and precious little of it...he walked like he was afraid to leave behind footprints...he moved as if not to stir the air around him...mostly he slept".
Amir and Soraya try their best to engage the little boy, but to no avail. Sohrab continues to "sleepwalk" through life, hidden safely in the cocoon he has created to shelter himself from hurt. Amir and Soraya can do nothing but be patient, hoping and praying that Sohrab will eventually feel secure enough to venture out of his shell. Seven long months pass by, until finally, when Sohrab sees Amir taking part in a kite-running contest at an Afghan gathering at a San Francisco park, he shows the first flicker of interest in life around him. Amir admits that "it (is) only a smile" that he got out of Sohrab, and a small one at that, but it is a start. The story ends with hope that Sohrab will indeed progress, with tentative steps, to live and trust once again (Chapter 25).