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He was 30. His life awaited him with open arms, only to be shocked by his choice.  Shock, that was all I felt and nothing else at first. Slowly, an eerie numbness crawled up my spine and it finally settled in. My brother, my kin, was gone. Not due to ill health, an accident, or any other causes of unexpected death but by his will, his own hands…the hands that held mine as I grew up. The hands that I tied numerous Rakhis around during Raksha Bandhan (An Indian celebration of the bond between a sister and her beloved brother. It is a day when a sister ties a Rakhi around her brother’s wrist to symbolize her love and prayers for his well being along with his life-long vow to protect her). Those hands, which meant the world to me, took my brother away. There was nothing we could do to bring him back, no amount of tears or sobs could reverse that irreversible feat. He was gone. But, one thing was for sure; he left behind many years of happy memories that shattered instantaneously with the sound of one gunshot. There is not a single day that goes by that his family does not recall his laugh, love, and joy. Just today, I had mangoes (his favorite fruit) and couldn’t help but think if he would’ve liked some. He took his life, literally, but he stole pieces of his family’s lives as well. Pieces that we will never see again as they continue to make dents in our lives. So, if I could have dinner with anyone I wished, it would be my brother so I could ask him why; why he left us, why he stole from us, and why he can never come back. Though my questions may never be answered, I can most certainly say one thing, my family would have done everything possible and beyond to help my brother through his rough times. If he would have just asked and let us share his burden, he would still be here. My brother would still be here. He was just 30.