“Hey.” Tim spoke first, breaking the silence between the brothers as they washed their hands. Strains of music filtered in from the band in the hall, but the water flow from the gold faucets sounded deadening to Daniel. The pungent smell of a cherry disinfectant irritated his nose.
“Hey. Thanks for not starting anything out there.” Daniel dried his hands on a rough paper towel, tossed it, then ran a hand through his hair. “I wasn’t sure what to expect after all this time.” He glanced sideways at Tim, then shrugged. “Liza said you all would welcome me home with open arms, but I just didn’t know.”
Tim sighed and tossed his own towel in the trashcan. “There are things to talk about, but my wedding reception isn’t the place. He reached walked toward the door, turning back as he grabbed the handle. “I am surprised Liza got you here. That you even thought to call her after all this time.”
Daniel remained at the sink, hands gripping both sides of the cold marble. A long pause followed, the only sound was water dripping from his grip. “And I’m surprised you let her go.”
Tim closed the door, his mouth slightly open but no words coming out. Daniel watched his brother take deep breaths and apparently struggle for words.
“You don’t know anything about me. About my life now.”
“I’d like to change that.” Daniel was relieved his brother did not roll his eyes at the statement. “I’d like to meet your new wife and get to know you both, spend some time here. I’ve made some changes over the years. I’d like to go to church with you, with the family.”
Tim seemed to consider his request for a few seconds, but then shook his head. “Let’s just get through this party. You have a lot of relatives out there with a lot of questions.”
“What about you, Tim? Do you have any questions?’
“Too many to count. They can wait. Well, all but one.”
“Yeah, what’s that?”
“Have you talked to Lane yet? She’s wandering around here somewhere.”
“Lane’s here?” Daniel started to double over. Had Tim punched him in the gut or what?
“Yeah, and I’m sure she has as many questions as I do. Maybe more.”