It was almost Sunset and I was doing a load of dishes when I heard the knock at my door.

“Fuck,” I muttered to my empty kitchen, my arms covered up to my elbows in soap and dishwater as I exhaled and blew little bubbles everywhere, crying out to whoever it was at my door, “Just a minute…!”

I could have swore I heard another timid knock at my door as I shook the soapy film from my hands with a few sharp snaps of my wrists and strode to the door, expecting Jehovah’s Witnesses or some neighbor that would only deign to talk to me only when asking for some random thing.

Instead, I opened the door to find my friend May sobbing, a river of tears cutting a channel down her smooth brown cheeks. Her olive shaped amber eyes were normally alight with wit and laughter, but now were swollen and red from crying.

“I’m sorry Ethan- I would have called bu-but…” She broke down, and she looked exhausted, wounded and defeated.

“Don’t worry about it,” I gently took her by the shoulder and pulled her into my house, away from the prying eyes of my elderly neighbor and the Summer heat. It was damn hot out and in addition to tears, May was drenched from not only sweat but some unknown substance- a red stickiness contrasting with the deep, dark brown of her face, neck and and arms. It even managed to cling to her shortly cropped, thick curly hair as well as the black of her over-sized Pink Floyd t-shirt.

“Sit here, I’ll be right back,” I said firmly but gently, and though she would have said something smart-ass at me telling her what to do- in her state she just collapsed, like a puppet who just had it’s strings cut into my aged but comfortable reading chair. I got us both ice water and towels so she could get off the sweat and whatever it was on her and I my hands still wet from doing the mostly completed pile of dishes.

Bawling sobs ripped through my apartment and with a shaky hand she accepted the large glass with her surprisingly strong grip, taking several heavy drinks of the refreshingly cold water.

I sat there silently- waiting for her to speak. My eyes were intent on her face. She usually looked me in the eye, strong and confident- but today she looked down, broken. It was sad to see. She numbly wiped at the unknown crimson spatter mingled with sweat from her caramel skin, and rubbed at the patina of snot above her thick, purple lips. Wracking sobs shook her body as I could see her white, but slightly crooked teeth show through a pained grimace. To say May’s ancestry was mixed would be an understatement- her ancestry was comprised of black, Korean, German and a Hodge-Podge of a few other random nationalities. She was pretty, but fell just short of being beautiful- She’d probably look stunning in a dress, but it’d take a a million dollars AND a SWAT team to get her into one. She was the quintessential Tomboy, from the brazen way she spoke, to being able to spot me at the gym down to the way she kept her curly hair- black and dyed with red highlights and cropped short in a relaxed style that was unintentionally flattering.

If my gaze were to wander down, I’d see what was probably quite the body hidden underneath those baggy clothes- petite, muscular and voluptuous- but I didn’t…

Really, it was because that would have been a moot point really. May was gay and a total fucking butch. Gayer than the whole YMCA discography- in fact we met through a former girlfriend of mine, Abby. Abby was “bi-sexual”. Though I think it was just term for Abby being unable to commit to anything- even the gender of her sexual partners. As she did with me, Abby decided for some random reason- maybe because it was Black Friday or something, that she liked dick again and moved to Toronto with some dread-locked stoner guy who spoke French and sold hemp products out of this head shop. It was rather sudden, leaving May not a little hurt, not unlike how Abby had had left me when she got together with May.

I remember wanting to be bitter at May when I first met her, but I couldn’t help but enjoy her easy, honest smile, the way she always said what was on her mind, and her infectious laugh.

Ironically- it chapped Abby’s ass that May and I got on as well as we did. I think May was supposed to be something to flaunt in front of me for whatever stupid reason. I have to admit, I enjoyed robbing Abby of that.

Instead, we got to talking about how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was often overrated off the mat and from there, why Metallica should have quit after The Black Album, finally to why Fosters was still decent beer in spite of the hate.

So, long after Abby had departed for the Great White North, May and I kept talking. We were platonic friends, obviously, despite her having a great rack and an ass that could make even baggy, thrasher jeans look good. As far as I was concerned, she was off the market- not even remotely interested nor ever would be. I have plenty of other women friends who were hetero and we weren’t dating or fucking. The tried and trite “Let’s just be friends”, as long as it was offered sincerely, never stopped me from actually being friends with a woman. It was the same thing with her- I didn’t weird things up by hitting on her, and I didn’t hit on her girlfriends. We worked out like we were just two dude friends. Unlike my other women friends, May had the additional perk that my hetero chick friends didn’t in that we could go look at tits together.

Four months ago May had met this chick in her Women’s studies class who kind of reminded me of Abby. Sure, Carmen was Abby’s physical polar opposite- short where Abby had been tall. Carmen was a dark skinned Latina where Abby was about as Irish as Corned Beef and Cabbage- her skin like milk and freckled with cinnamon. Carmen was curvy where Abby was slender. It wasn’t her body type or skin tone that made her another Abby but the same, juvenile need for attention and a ruthless ability to apply histrionics and manipulation to get it.

I remember laughing with May one night over some beers after work a few weeks ago and she told me how Carmen thought I was gay.

“Really?” I blinked,”Why would she think that?”

“Yunno- I asked her the same damn thing,” May responded after thinking on it as she took a deep swig from her gold and blue can of Fosters,”You know what she told me?”

“What?” I asked- I mean I bathed and used deodorant and I laughed at Mrs. Doubtfire but I wasn’t exactly Metro or anything. Why would I ping on her gaydar?

“He never hit on me” Carmen said,” May replied, looking at me pointedly,” You believe that shit?”

We both had a good laugh at that. It wasn’t that Carmen wasn’t fuckable, she was. I might have been El Juero Blanco, but I was equal-opportunity. However you wanted to slice it, Carmen was my buddy’s girl. Regardless of what May wore underneath her Fruit of the Loom’s she was still my bro, and I would never violate the “Bro Code” like that, No IF’s, AND’s or BUT’s. I recall thinking back on it, and something about that struck me as just arrogant on Carmen’s part. I told myself I was probably just reading too much into things- and May really liked her and I did the best I could to be a good wing man.

My other friends gave me shit (As I’m sure some of May’s dyke buddies gave her shit for hanging out with a straight dude) for hanging out with a “dyke” but I’d fuck with them back, “Jim, you’re just jealous she gets better poon than you.” And it’s true- she had some great taste in women- well, at least in the way of looks. I couldn’t really fault her for the inability to see past a pretty face, especially since we had shared at least one pretty, albeit shallow girl. I had learned my lessons and was pickier now, better able to see the telltale red flags than May was.

Now May was here, in tears.

“So May, what happened?” I asked, absentmindedly scrubbing at an errant spot of dish soap drying on my hairy forearms. May just wasn’t prone to this crying shit- even before during her other breakups. she was as much, if not more of a dude, than I was. Something was different about today, and even if it felt a bit awkward, I’d do my best to be there for my friend.

“Fuck Ethan…” She exhaled sharply then breathed in after, letting out a loud sigh, “I think Carmen…I think she left me.”

I almost wondered aloud, “How can you THINK someone left you?” but I caught myself, instead I just gave her a “go on, I’m listening” look.

“Carmen had picked me up from class and I just wanted to go home- it’s hot and all. I was fucking tired, but she wanted to go out drinking and dancing. We had talked this morning about just having a nice quiet evening together tonight- we hadn’t gotten to see each other all that much. Of course that started us to fighting about stupid shit. You know, how she seems to think that I was cheating around on her, I was pissed she kept asking- you know I’m not, and I was tired of having to keep justifying myself to her. It made me think that maybe there was someone else- the thief is the first person to accuse another person of pick pocketing, right? God, it was so fucking embarrassing how we were all Jerry Springer at the stoplight as people in the cars next to us just kept giving us funny looks.”

I winced as she paused for a breath. I’ve been witness to one or two of those fights, and honestly, I was surprised they didn’t end up in knock-out drag out sessions where the cops had to be called.

“Yeah, I hate that shit too, man.” Abby had been prone to hysteria, she had this fetish for pulling these epic-ass tantrums in public…The last person I dated was more sedate, but prone to the passive-aggressive bullshit. That wasn’t much better. I swear, there were times I wished I was fucking gay- until I found out from May that gay dudes liked to play the same bullshit games. No tits and vag for the same drama? No fucking thank you.

“My sister CeeCee had called from her boyfriends phone- you know how we were planning Mom’s birthday? Carmen was giving me the third fucking degree, and just flipped out and knocked the phone out of my hand.” This couldn’t have happened but forty minutes ago, and understandably, this was hard for her to talk about.

“Christ,” I muttered- I didn’t like where this was heading and I was afraid for my friend.

“I fucking flipped out Ethan. I yelled at her…” She confessed in a quiet voice,” I just couldn’t…I was hot and tired and just fucking fed up, you know? I told her to pull over.”

I gave her a “I don’t blame you” look. Someone grabbing something out of my hand or knocking it out was enough to make me want to swing on someone too, tits or no,” What’d you do?”

She looked at me, her hands shaking so much I had to take the now empty glass from her hands before she dropped it and her voice shuddered and hitched,” I told her that I was fucking tired of this…this princess bullshit. I love her Ethan- but fuck, it’s just day in and day out. Does everything have to be fucking Vietnam with these bitches?”

“It shouldn’t have to be, dude,” I said with a shrug,” But should and shit begin the same way for a reason.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought too,” May answered, her teeth grinding together in anguish and a bitter cast warping her normally pretty features,” She- told me to get the fuck out of the car- but first she JUST HAD to tell me that she had met someone else- some bitch from her work and because she hadn’t fucking gutted me enough, she threw her Slurpee in my face.”

“What a fucking cunt.” I muttered. What was it with some women? Not enough that they twisted the knife in, but they had to cover it in salt and then break it off inside too? That wasn’t quite fair- I’ve been my own kind of dick to women too, and I’ve seen my dude friends do some petty shit that wasn’t anywhere near necessary. Part of growing up for both genders, I guess.

“So…I don’t have my phone and you were ten minutes away. I was praying…that you were home. I just- you’ve always been there to talk to.”

I was supposed to go out and play darts with some guys at work- but I had a feeling that May was going to need me tonight.

“I’m gonna need to place to crash tonight Ethan- I just don’t feel like going home.” She looked almost sheepish when she asked.

“Don’t even sweat it bro. Mi casa, Su casa.” It was kind of a running joke with each other we always called each other shit like “Dude”, “Bro” “Man”- I guess it also made the gender issue a bit easier to deal with.

She sighed in relief and sadness,” Thanks man. I just- I’m just so fucked up.”

“I’ve been there. You were there for me when I needed it too May. I was gonna go out tonight-”

“Oh no…” May said, crestfallen,”I didn’t mea-”

I waved my hand dismissively,” -It’s just some buddies from work. I spend enough time with their sorry asses all week long anyway. I was just saying, let me give them a call to cancel. Do you wanna take a shower and get all that crap off of you?”

She nodded gratefully and said,”…Yeah.”

“Right on. There are guest towels on the rack and a spare sponge.”

Through her tears, she started to shake her head in mock dismay,”You’re such a fag, Ethan.”

There was my buddy May, tough as nails and able to talk shit with the best of them,”Shut the fuck up and go wash that bee cum off your face, you asshole.”

She laughed despite her grief and went to go shower. I called my work buddy to cancel- but it turned out to work out just fine, one dude almost forgot his wife’s anniversary and the other one had a hot date last minute. I made up the couch for her and got some clothes that I hoped would fit her, one of my white undershirts and some brown drawstring sleepy pants left over from Passive-Aggressive girl who was about May’s height, but far more slender. I thought they would fit…maybe- most of my clothes were just too big for her.

I went to go set it in front of the door as I heard the sound of the shower running, and I before I knew what was happening, I saw the door cracked and tried to look down as quickly as I could- but it was too late to keep me from getting a decent look.

May wasn’t facing me, I saw her from behind. She always wore clothes that understated her figure in over-sized baggy shirts, loose jeans and shorts that nearly reached her shins, but I had always guessed that she was built like a brick-shit house- you know, solid but also curvy? I wasn’t wrong- she was muscular and I could see her back, complete with a tattoo of two rainbow colored female symbols wreathed in thorny roses, her arms were well toned but probably her best feature was a full ass that looked like two brown cantaloupes held up by short, unshaven muscular legs, ending in strong, but shapely calves. She was bending over, pulling down what looked like grey boxer briefs giving me a brief flash of kinky black pubic hair and poking under the cleft of plump pussy lips. Her breasts were full enough that I could see them from the side- even a hint of a large, milk-chocolate colored nipple. She didn’t shave, but that never bothered me. I always joked that I wouldn’t make a woman shave her legs if she didn’t make me shave mine. At the sight of my friend’s nudity, I looked away blushing like a fucking kid. It was like looking at your buddy at the locker room in the locker room, or taking a peek at another dude’s dick while you were pissing in the urinal- you just didn’t do it.

“Uh…May, I uh…” God, I was stammering, my mouth dry as I tried to push the image of what I just saw out of my mind.

“What?” She yelled, tears still in her voice.”I can barely hear you over the water.”

“I left you some clothes Br-bro.” That last word was hard to get out as I clapped my hand over my eyes,” Give me your shit and I’ll throw it in the washer.”

One of her small, sinewy arms thrust her clothes to me and I almost gingerly accepted them from her, doing my damnedest to not touch her chonies.

I threw them into the wash, trying to ignore the the scent of her- sweaty, but still very much healthy woman.

“Don’t be a fucking perv,” I admonished myself under my breath as I poured in some soap and started the machine.

She showered for a good long time. That red gunk was everywhere and probably a bitch and a half to get out. Not to mention I would have needed to get clean on an emotional level after something like what happened with her and Carmen.

May emerged from her shower to the sight of me frying up some steak and potatoes. Her hair was gleaming and wet the red highlights shining, my white shirt clung to her bra-less breasts like a second skin, hanging over what was a tight and toned stomach. Even the brown sleep pants fit too tight to make me feel comfortable in my platonic-ness.

“What?” She asked, giving me that “..the fuck you looking at, buddy?” look.

“Nothing man,” I lied and cleared the nervous lump from my throat,” Grab a beer, and grab me one too.”

“Do I look like your bitch, fucker?” She asked, playfully.

“No, just a plain ol’ bitch.” I laughed,”You still like your steak charred?”

“Yeah, I eat it like a human being, not how you do, practically like it’s fucking red wings.” She shot back. I could tell she was still tore up, but this is what she needed right now. May wasn’t some little flower that needed to be stepped around and she liked that I never treated her like that.

“Damn straight Red Wings, pearl applicator, string and everything” I shot back, pressing her steak onto the flat pan my own oozing delicious red on a bed of potatoes.

“You’re so fucking gross Ethan.” She said making a sour face, but laughing as she went into my fridge and dug out two beers, popping the caps off with twist of her hands. She was shaking less I noticed- that was good.

“Says the fucker that eats charcoal.” I shot back, smirking.

I threw her clothes into the drier for her, and joined her in the living room where we sat, eating on the couch that I had made up for her. We ate and drank beer as we watched “Hang ’em High”, typical guy fare, and from that we watched another Clint Eastwood gem “Gran Torino.” We both loved that movie- we had watched it so much that we could quote every grouchy old racial slur from that old cracker’s snarling lips. By the time that movie was done, our dead soldiers had become a whole unit that went MIA.

I felt my head swimming as we laughed. I found it harder and harder to not to look at May’s bouncing tits as she chortled at lines we had both heard over a dozen times before. At the end of this gruff, but poignant movie we heard Clint Eastwood’s gravelly voice trying and failing badly to croon out the song at the end credits- that part always set us both howling. I tried to focus on laughing as I felt myself swell and harden in my pants to the sight of May’s nipples making stiff points in the thin cloth of the white tee-shirt. I told myself it was just her natural reaction to the cold, and to stop being such a jerk about it.

“Christ…,” I muttered to myself as I could see the outline of her large areola clearly showing through the thin white material.

“What?” She asked and saw what I was looking at and looked down as if she forgot they were there herself.” Yeah- I have tits, so fucking what?”

“No you don’t” I said trying to keep my face- and my priorities, straight,” And you have a cock bigger than mine.”

She looked at me and snorted, even that course expression not diminishing her beauty.

I stood up on woozy legs and almost fell, but caught myself with the edge of the couch. I winced as my shoulders gave a twinge from the sudden jarring, causing me to wince and inhale sharply.

“What’s the matter?” May asked, her eyes only slightly more unfocused than mine.

“Nothing…” I said, trying to rub the soreness out of my back. I had overworked at the gym today and because it had been a long day, my body was complaining, the little slip causing a murmur to turn into a loud complaint.