Erica became sick. Changez describes her as pale, and she was in her own state, a nostalgia. He could not actually get in touch with her or speak with her. It looked like she had a fever and it had been days since she had washed her hair. This is an example of a bad mental state, where you stop taking care of yourself.
Changez went back home to Pakistan, and he was happy to see his family, but he did not miss America that much. However, he was concerned for Ericas state of health.
He wanted to stay there for a longer period of time, but his mother and father said he had to get back to America. He finally went back home to New York, and by that time he had not been shaving his beard for almost two weeks.
After he got back home to New York, he wanted to meet Erica. He spoke to a nurse who told him that Erica was in love with someone else. Changez finally found Erica, and she complimented his beard and said that his beard brings out his eyes. Erica brings up Chris, once again, in the conversation, and makes Changez furious, because he is dead. Erica gives Chris a hug after excusing herself for everything, and said he should leave.
On his way home, he regrets not kissing Erica before leaving her. He felt like he had sort of failed a test.
Back at work, Changez is being told by Jim that many of his coworkers thought he looked a little shabby, because of the beard and all that. He is being offered to write about a new project, valuing a book publisher in Valparaiso, Chile.
I think the story is getting more interesting after reading about the situation between Changez and Erica. I look forward to read more about how her mental state eventually develops, and how the war in Pakistan ends, and how everything will be for Changez.