Laila is taken in by Rasheed and Mariam after a missile kills her parents. Rasheed treats Laila like royalty which infuriates Mariam. Mariam then begins to realize that she is witnessing a courtship. Rasheed asks Laila to marry him, and she accedes. An already enraged Mariam is told by Rasheed that she is to comply to Laia's wishes. Mariam expresses to Laila, "you may be the palace malika and me a dehati, but I won't take orders from you. You can complain to him and he can slit my throat, but I won't do it. Do you hear me? I won't be your servant," (Hosseini 225). This quote represents the beginning of a dark relationship that is developing between Mariam and Laila. Mariam resents Laila for invading her space, and Laila is not sure how to act around Mariam because she knows that Mariam is agitated with the situation. The darkness separating them is like the brewing of heavy clouds preparing for a storm.
Although Mariam and Laila are not on amicable terms, Laila refrains from telling Rasheed about their indifference towards each other. She does this to protect Mariam from the wrath of Rasheed. Which means that Laila cares about Mariam enough to want to keep her out of harm's way. However, Mariam continues to antagonize Laila. The author writes, "'and it's possible you hid it somewhere, to aggravate me.' 'You're a sad, miserable woman,' Laila said. Mariam flinched, then recovered, pursed her lips. 'And you're a whore. A whore and a dozd. A thieving whore, that's what you are!'" This quote shows that the women are still on edge with each other. Mariam believes that everything is Laila's fault. Laila regrets her efforts to protect Mariam because she realizes that Mariam has it out for her. This fight begins because Mariam blames Laia for the misplacement of a wooden spoon. However, the fight was an outburst of the hate that had been brewing between the ladies. This represents the thunder and lightening during a thunderstorm which is like the discharge of energy from the heavy storm clouds.
After Mariam and Laila's fight, the hatred subsides. Mariam begins to accept the fact that Laila is part of her life now. Mariam also begins to bond with Aziza. The book states, “and though her throat was parched with thirst and her feet burned with pins and needles, it was a long time before Mariam gently freed her finger from the baby’s grip and got up” (Hosseini 244). This quote proves that Mariam is developing a love for Aziza. Mariam was always jealous of Laila because she had Aziza, and Mariam could never have children. Mariam begins spending more time with Aziza. This represents the raindrops during a storm. The clouds become heavy and dark. Then, they eventually release the rain and let it pour onto the earth below. The hatred between Mariam and Laila was weighing them both down. Mariam realizes that maybe she needs to start to let it all go and move on.
Mariam continues spending more time with Aziza. However, she has still not cleared up all of her issues with Laila. Then, one night Laila and Mariam decide to share a cup of tea together. When they are in the yard, Aziza starts crying. The author writes, “and when Aziza woke up crying and Rasheed yelled for Laila to come up and shut her up, a look passed between Laila and Mariam. An unguarded, knowing look. And in this fleeting, wordless exchange with Mariam, Laila knew that they were not enemies any longer” (Hosseini 250). This quote shows that the hatred that once existed between Mariam and Laila has now passed. They have put aside everything that happened in the past in order to move on with the future. They have both realized that the only way they are going to survive Rasheed is by working together. This is like the clearing after a thunderstorm. The darkness and the clouds are beginning to fade which means the return of a beautiful day.
Mariam and Laila have been through a lot since they have known each other. They both have stuck up for each other when they were in dreadful situations. The day Mariam killed Rasheed she knew that she could not let Laila take any of the blame for what she did. Mariam knew that Laila had a bright future ahead of her and did not want to get in the way of that. In the book Mariam states, “for me, it ends here. There’s nothing more I want. Everything I’d ever wished for as a little girl you’ve already given me. You and your children have made me so very happy. It’s all right, Laila jo. This is all right. Don’t be sad," (Hosseini 358). This quote validates how much Mariam cares for Laila and how much Laila cares for Mariam. Mariam was willing to sacrifice the rest of her life in order to let Laila live hers to the fullest. It shows how strong their friendship was and what they would do for each other. This is like a rainbow that appears after a storm. After the rain stops and the sun shines threw the rainbow appears.