*South Africa’s Heat magazine is claiming that Rihanna and her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown have been in telephone contact since his emotional performance at the BET Awards.

The singers had reportedly not been in touch since Brown was sentenced to 180 days of community labor and five years of probation for beating her in Feb. 2009.

An unnamed source told Heat: “It’s been almost a year since they last spoke, but Rihanna felt like she could try to be friends with Chris again. Seeing how emotional he was on set [at the BET Awards] really touched her. She’d never seen him like that before.”

The source added: “Chris told her that he felt like he’s grown up in the past year. He’s said he’s so happy to be back in touch with her. They were each other’s first love and he’s missed her so much. Rihanna knows that if he wanted him back, he’d be there in a second.”

The pair have reportedly text messaged one another since their telephone conversation, with a friend of Rihanna’s suggesting that she’s hoping for a face-to-face meeting.

But under the terms of his August 2009 probation, Brown must stay at least 100 yards away from RiRi for five years.