According to his voicemail message, he’s coming home this weekend. No, not this weekend, today. He’s coming home today. A last-minute trip. And I can’t stop smiling.

My crush on Work Boyfriend is … a forgotten constant. In varying degrees and probably stemming from habit more than anything substantial. In reality, we’re just really good friends, adhering strongly to the out-of-sight-out-of-mind philosophy, which means that I never really think about it/him until he’s in sight. Like now.

A recap of Work Boyfriend …

When I worked as a server for two years at The (original) Wine Bar, the Chef and I spent close to forty hours/week together. As we were together daily, we became close, like family … if that family is one prone to drinking excessively and sharing-without-filter every life detail. (Or maybe you’ve noticed that I tend to spew trivial private-life detailed-garbage to any captive audience? Imagine spending forty hours a week without anything to do besides listen to me talk. I know, right? The stories and information that I feed you? Are the decidedly nontrivial life details. It could be worse. I could share SO MUCH MORE.) As I was one of the few people who wouldn’t tolerate his bullshit or attempts at charm, his real wife amusingly thought of me like a second wife, which then spurned the Work Husband/Work Wife titles.

Work Husband and I were close – still are – and rarely allowed others to fit into our dynamic … until Work Boyfriend, a welcomed addition to our clique. Work Boyfriend is my age, beautiful (and knows that he is), and makes me blush (hence the Work Boyfriend status – as even the kitchen boys would comment, to my mortification, “I think that you and him are not just friends?”) During our time together at The Wine Bar, we were both in long-distance relationships, which meant that we could flirt without either of us expecting it to go anywhere. It was safe. On drunken evenings, we were each others’ accomplice in general tomfoolery.

He currently lives in Chicago and hasn’t been home in almost a year. We talk sporadically, usually when I need to lean on someone – someone specifically being Work Boyfriend because he gets me in a way that others don’t. The Firefighter is the only one that gets me as well as he does – but The Firefighter gets because he can read me; Work Boyfriend gets me because we’re so alike.

For example. A year ago when I started my current job, I confessed that I cried when I signed my corporate contract. He didn’t question why, but instead he was the one to assure me that it sucks to grow up but that didn’t mean my life was over. Exactly what I needed to hear and exactly what no one else gave me, as most said with angry frustration, “but this is what you want!” A statement which would repeatedly make me cry because I wasn’t feeling what, according to them, I was supposed to be feeling.

I also called him for assurance when I bought the house and again, expressed the same feelings of hesitation stemming from entrapment. Again, he was the one that assured me that I can still have Paris someday. He didn’t question why I needed Paris, he just knew that I needed it to remain an option.

It’s not that we’re kindred spirits or any new-age type bullshit. We have the same motivations. And regardless of everything, when I saw his name on my missed call log, I started smiling. And now he’s home for a few days and I can’t wait to see him.

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