The life of 14 and 16-year-old brothers is about what you’d expect. One of them just started high school and the other one was a sort of veteran to it. They would get up together, get ready in the morning, say goodbye to their mom, and then head to school. Being 16 means, Landon could drive, and also that you’d be irresponsible while driving. Again, that’s about right.
The night that makes these brothers significant was a long one. It was Gavin’s first party.
“OK. I think I understand,” Gavin said hesitantly. They were currently driving to his first-ever high school party, and saying he was petrified was an understatement.
“Great, you’ll do fine,” His brother reassured him. “Just do everything I told you, don’t be a tool, and you’ll be fine.”
“Right,” Gavin began. “That’s what I’m worried about. How do I actually prevent myself from being a tool? I just do my own thing, ya’ know?”
“There!” Landon was so abrupt that the car practically jerked. “Don’t do that.”
“Be a tool.” Landon realized he’d have to explain a little bit, “When you ever feel like Gabriella singing Gotta Go my own Way, you’ve already fricked it.”
“Yeah, it’s true. Don’t try to go your own way. Be like everyone else, but add some flare.”
“This is helpless,” Gavin was being blunt. He actually thought he was helpless in social gatherings.
“Maybe, sure,” Landon was laughing. “But even if you don’t succeed the first time, you’ll have many more opportunities. When in doubt just say nothing and vibe.”
They had just pulled up to Landon’s friend's house, where the party was happening. It was about 8 pm and the boys were ready. They walked into the house and there was loud music playing. People were laughing and dancing throughout the whole house. There were red plastic cups scattered on every visible surface and the most glass bottles Gavin had ever seen. He was going to say something, but he realized his brother would not be able to hear him either way. They walked through the kitchen to the backyard where a lot more people were hanging out with their best friend, Red Cup.
“What do you think?” Landon asked with a gentle shove to his brother.
“Think?” Gavin thought that was an odd question. “How can I think about anything at all.”
“Good,” Landon replied with a sense of accomplishment. “Don’t think about anything. The moment you do, drink this, and don’t be a tool.” He handed his younger brother one of those red cups.
“Right.” Gavin then looked around and saw some girls from his class. He started getting anxious and began to feel a thought try to form. Without hesitating, he took the cup to his lips and put the bottom to the sky. The beverage was the oddest thing he’d ever tasted. It kind of burned his throat, kind of burned his stomach, and kind of made him happy. Before he knew it, the thought was gone with the wind. He looked at his brother who smiled.
“Looks like you know what you’re doin’,” He laughed at his brother. “Now go make me proud.” Gavin nodded with a broad smile and went on to party like he never had. He talked with the girls in his class, got some of their numbers, danced a little bit, and kept that bottomless cup closer than anything. The night went on and at around 2 am, the brothers decided they should head out. They walked out to the car and got in.
“So? How was it?” Landon asked with the greatest slur of his life.
“I–um,” Gavin gathered some thoughts and, in the same instant, looked for that trusty red cup. It wasn’t there. “Wild,” is all he could say. Landon looked like he appreciated this answer.
They drove back home. It was a very shaky drive, but both of the brothers seemed to not notice. In order to get back home, they had to go back down the hill that his friend lived on. The last thing Gavin remembers was feeling wild and like he was flying. He looked over at his brother who didn’t look like he was enjoying the new flight experience. Gavin just assumed he had felt it before. They flew the night to an end.