"The gun was red, the trigger guard bright green. Behind the gun loomed Khadim's grinning face. Khadim was eleven, like Tariq. He was thick, tall, and had a severe underbite. His father was a butcher in Deh-Mazang, and, from time to time, Khadim was known to fling bits of calf intestine at passerby. Sometimes, if Tariq wasn't nearby, Khadim shadowed Laila in the schoolyard at recess, leering, making little whining noises. One time he'd tapped her on the shouder and said, You're so very pretty, Yellow Hair.I want to marry you."
This quote shows that without Tariq, Laila is powerless and anyone can be mean to her. Also, it shows that she depends on Tariq to protect her and to defend her