The latte-machine sprayed loudly as Johnny and Mark entered the coffee shop. A woman in a black tube top ordered while her boyfriend stood silently at her side.
"Um, I'll have a large peanut-butter cup with extra whip cream please." she ordered.
"All right." The Barista responded, turning to her companion.
"And I'll take..." he took a moment to study the menu, "Some cheese cake and a coffee!"
"All right, well why don't you guys take a seat, we'll have that right out for you!"
"Thank you." the tube-top girl said, and the couple went to take their seat, eagerly awaiting their deserts.
And then another couple advanced in line.
"Hi, how you doing?" the Barista greeted. "What would you like?"
"Can I get uh...bagel and an americana?" the man ordered.
"All right, sure." And she turned towards his girlfriend.
"I'm going to get a slice of cheesecake and a bottle of water." she said. Cheesecake was a very popular option.
"Yeah, that sounds good! Why don't you guys have a seat and we'll have that right out for you."
The couple went to take their seat, eagerly awaiting their deserts.
Finally, Johnny and Mark arrived at the front of the line.
"Oh, hi Susan!" Johnny smiled warmly at the cashier.
"Well hi Johnny, how are you! Good to see 'ya! What would you like?" she said.
"Hot chocolate please." Johnny moaned.
"What size is that?"
Susan turned towards Mark. "And how about you?"
"I'll have a mint tea." he said.
"OK. Medium also?"
"Go sit down, we'll be right there!" , Susan invited, and got to making Johnny's medium hot chocolate and Mark's mint tea (also medium).
The needlessly lengthy ordering process complete, Mark and Johnny took a seat.
"I'm so tired of girls games..." Mark started.
Johnny, although he was so tired of Mark cryptically complaining about women, nonetheless indulged his friend.
"What happened now, Mark?"
"Relationships never work, man. I don't know why I waste my time." Mark looked off out the window.
"What makes you say that?" Johnny prodded.
Mark looked down at the table, then back up at his best friend. "It's not that easy, Johnny."
"Well, you should be happy Mark." Johnny said, genuine empathy behind the words. He wanted nothing but happiness for his best friend, no matter where he could find it.
Mark sighed . "Yeah, I know. Life is too short."
Susan arrived with Johnny's medium hot chocolate and Mark's medium mint tea.
"Oh, thank you Susan." Johnny smiled.
"Oh, you're welcome. How about something like...cheese cake?" Susan had received an extra-large shipment of cheese cake batter the night before, and it was going to spoil rotten unless she unloaded the whole thing within the next few hours.
"Nah, no." Johnny murmured a negative.
"It's real good!"
Susan could take a hint.
And she left the men to their discussion.
"How was work today?" Mark asked.
"Oh, pretty good. We got a new client...at the bank. We make a lot of money."
Mark snarled his brow in utter confusion.
"I can not tell you! It's confidential."
"Aw come on! Why not?" Mark rolled his eyes.
"No, I can't. Anyway, how is your sex life?" Behind them, a segway crashed and burned on the street. Mark ignored it, shrugged and answered Johnny's question.
"I can't talk about it."
"Why not?" Johnny asked. Something was up.
Susan came by with their bill, which no one had requested. "Take your time." she said, and went back behind the bar.
Time? That reminded Johnny of something.
"Oh, god. I have to run!" he said, standing.
"All ready?" It had only been two minutes.
"Yeah, I'm sorry."
Mark nodded. "All right, its on me."
"Yeah, see you Mark." Johnny said, raising his hand for a bro-five.
"So you want to go jogging? Golden Gate Park?" Mark asked as their hands collided, over and over again, shifting from palm to fist in a best friend salute.
"Yeah sure, what time?" Johnny said.
"Golden Gate Park, six-thirty."
"You're on!" Johnny said, then grabbed his coffee and made for the door.
"All right, see ya." Mark called out.
"Okie-dokie bye." Johnny said, and with that, he was gone.
Mark took a long, hard, hot sip of his mint tea and wondered what he could possibly do next.
* * *
Hours later, Mark was walking up the spiral staircase of Johnny's bedroom, Lisa leading the way. He couldn't help but notice how great she looked in that black dress.
She pulled him close to her. Mark pulled back.
"What's going on here?" he said, confused.
"I like you very much, Mark." she said, rubbing his shoulders. Mark could feel the blood rush from his head and throb down into his crotch. But he wouldn't let it get to him. Not this time. Johnny was his best friend.
"Hey, come on. Johnny's my best friend." he said.
"Just, one more time." she said, reaching under his sweated and rubbing his nipples. She his shirt up and off his head. And Mark didn't stop her.
They kissed and she pushed him onto the bed. Mark pushed aside the shoulder of her dress and climbed on top of her. Then they made out like that for a long while.
"Oh yeah..." Mark moaned softly.
A half-hour later, Lisa took off her bra, revealing her right breast. They made out some more. Finally, after an hour of rubbing each others backs, Mark penetrated her and they made love in the missionary position.
* * *
San Fransisco has a long bridge called the Golden Gate Bridge.
Johnny pulled his white sedan over, parking it on the road next to Golden Gate Park. He exited the car to find Mark, his best friend waiting for him under a tree.
"Hey!" Johnny called out.
"Hey, Johnny. How's it going?"
"Pretty good!" He said, and they locked hands in friendship.
It was going pretty good for Mark too. He'd spent the day sipping on mint tea with Johnny, nailing Johnny's future wife and now jogging with Johnny.
Mark grabbed the football (which of course he had because who wouldn't bring a football for a jogging date with your best friend) and chucked it over to Johnny. They both started into a jog, throwing the ball back and forth as they went.
"What's new Johnny!" Mark asked, throwing the ball.
"Nothing much!" Johnny said, throwing it back. "What's new with you man!"
"Not much, man." Mark replied. They ran out together into the green. "Catch this!"
"All right! Woo!" Johnny exclaimed.
"Woo! Wee! Woo!" Mark yelped.
And they went on like that, jogging awhile, then stopping to throw the ball then jogging some more, hollering and ribbing each other as they went. Two men playing as boys would. As best friends would.
Johnny threw the ball at Mark, then ran at him, jumping on his back and hugging his bro.
Mark struggled a bit and they both fell to the ground, grabbing and wrestling each other with an affection unrivaled.
Mark and Johnny would remember this day for their rest of their lives. Mark because it was the last time him and Johnny were together, truly, as best friends. And Johnny because he didn't have much life left to live.