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Best of Mates
by Bruce Costello

Big Red, thumb in jeans pocket, wedges a boot in Jason’s door. “Why aren’t you answering your phone? You okay?”

“After last night?”

“Sorry, bro.”

“What the hell came over you?”

“Dunno.” Big Red stares at the doorstep. ”Guess I didn’t like hearing about the bullshit Jodie put you through.” He bites his lip. “I reckon I just ...”

“You gave me a bloody shock!”

“That why you took off like a scalded cat?”

“You’re lucky you didn’t wear a bunch of fives!”

“Yeah. And I would’ve deserved it.”

“Do you think you might be gay?”

“Nuh. Never done anything like that before, never wanted to. You know me. We’ve been mates since school.”

“Not like that.”


“You hugged me like I was a woman, hand on my arse!”

“It wasn’ was something else.”


“Well, it’s like, you’re kinda...special to me.” Big Red’s voice is quivering. “We’re mates. You look out for me and I cover your tail.”

“Piss poor choice of words, bro.”

Big Red turns scarlet.

“Just joking,” Jason grins, punching him lightly on the arm. “Shit, you’re a big ugly hairy bugger.”

“Better than being a hideous pint-sized chrome dome.”


“Wanna go for a pint?”


“Walk or take the Harley?”

“Walk. Don’t want you sitting behind me.”


“You gotta show them who’s boss, Jas!”

“Trouble with Jodie, if you just slap her round a bit she turns into a bloody wildcat.”

“Women, eh!”

“I’m over them. Had enough of relationships.”

“Another pint, mate?”