The fumes didn’t stop him, nor did the dim lighting or throbbing music or sweaty bodies swaying and twitching. Guided by familiarity and purpose, he found the bathroom in the back of the house, where the music could be felt more than it could be heard. Crumpled on the floor, phone in hand, was his little brother.
Not little anymore, in age or experience.
A splash of water revived him enough to stand, to hobble, with some help. No words, no apologies, no forgiveness—unnecessary. Just back through the crowd, the music, and out of the fumes.