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Last night and today have been full (exaggeration alert) of surprises. In fact, I’ve had two surprises that both revolve around Ben; both have been extremely pleasant.

1) I was sitting watching TV with my mom and sister last night, minding my own business, when my cell phone rang. Because I’m carrying a cheap prepaid top-up phone while I am in the US, it always says “Unknown” when someone calls. Always. Anyway, “Unknown” turned out to be Ben this time! What a [shocking, wonderful, and expensive] surprise! Upon hearing his voice my spirits were immediately raised. I leapt off of the couch and ran upstairs to chit-chat on the phone with him like a teenager whose crush has just called. How nice.

He told me he’s been very busy this last week or so. The first thing he made it a point to tell me was that “he is single now.” He didn’t go into any great detail about why or how, but he did say that “he broke up with her” (shocker) and that “he’ll be ok.” My insides were doing somersaults and back-flips out of happiness. Now, note: my happiness does note comes from a “maybe he’ll be with me now” place; it comes from a place of “now we can both be guilt free.” I’ll explain later.

He also told me all about everything that’s happening for him at work. I won’t bore you with the details, but I am always shocked and flattered when he chooses to share this kind of information with me. It tells me that he values my opinion and that he wants me to see him as successful. I really feel like if this were just sex (my best friend is rolling her eyes reading this line because I always question whether or not it’s just sex with Ben) he wouldn’t care if I were out of the country, if i knew about his work situation, or his girl situation. We are friends. Friends who have awesome sex.

2) When I came home from my fourth (yes, fourth) trip to Walmart today, I logged on to check my email. Ben started chatting with me. Here are some highlights:

ben: yalla, come back! come. back.

me: hahaha i wish 🙂  why do you need to go through all this?
ben: i will explain when i see ya

me: this state is soul-sucking.
ben: we can talk about it when u r back home
me: true 🙂 looking forward to it 🙂
ben: same here

Then we skyped. I saw his face and his beautiful (shirtless) body. Most importantly, I saw the way he was looking at me on his computer screen, and from the angle of the camera I could see this really honest smile lighting up his whole face just moments before he would go back to playing it cool and flirting with me. Even from 7000 miles away, Ben can make me blush without even using any words.

Sooooooooooo… I spoke to my mom about this crisis I’ve been suffering from concerning Ben. Yes, I’ve been saying that Aug. 1 will be real life and real life means we can’t be f*cking around like we have been. So, after I got off the phone with him last night, I spent quite a few hours trying to imagine what would happen if I tried to force Ben into a relationship or what our relationship would be like if we agreed to be in one together. I can’t picture it. The only outcome I can see for that is he would get bored, I would get frustrated, he would start to lie and cheat, I would get angry, we would break up and we would never be friends again. But, truth be told, I’m really not ready to cut the Ben-cord. So, I consulted an expert: Mom.

Mom’s advice was wise and simple. What I have with Ben is a good, healthy friendship. There is absolutely no reason why I would have to change things or end things with Ben upon my Aug. 1st return. Ben does not stop me from meeting other men, and in fact, love finds you when you aren’t looking for it, so Ben is a good distraction for the interim. I really need to trust my instincts and believe that when I’m ready to be done with Ben, I will be – and that will be when someone even better comes into my life. What Ben and I have is real and easy, it just doesn’t fit into my girlfriends’ ideas of the type of relationship men and women should have with each other. I’m not going to end it. I’m not going change it. I’m going to let it evolve (for better or worse) naturally, and whatever happens, happens. I’m not asking for permission, advice, or forgiveness. This is right for me. For now, anyway.