Big Heart, Love & Relationships
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I Don’t Know How To Not Care

girl with hand around man's neck gently smiling

I don’t know how to pretend this doesn’t matter—the kisses, the phone calls, the moments of eye contact stolen across a crowded bar. I don’t know how to walk away, erase the space between us, act like I’m removed and this is just something to pass the time. I don’t know how to leave, how to distance, how to unremember the taste of your lips on mine that first night under the midnight sky.

I’ve always loved to run, but with you, I’m not afraid to stay.

You took my hand and showed me your world. And I don’t think that was in the plans for either of us. In the beginning, we were both caught up in liquor and lust, kissing just enough to crave more and my hands pushing you away, creating a space between us. I didn’t know who you were, what you’d become. But I knew I wanted to do things right, do things slow.

Our goodbyes hung in the air like promises; we knew we’d see one another again.

And we did. And it was you this time, reaching across the void between our two cellphones, saying you wanted to see me, to know me, and there wasn’t a doubt in my mind. We stayed up for hours, wandering the streets, watching the planes dance in the sky and the waves hit the shore. We talked about the little things, the big things, and walked step for step until everything felt like a rhythm. We were comfortable, even with our hearts pounding in our chests.

I don’t think you intended to have me unfold, to watch the layers open, to see my heart tender and fragile in your palms. I don’t think you had any idea what you were getting into, that you would swim in the softness of my brown eyes, that you would find yourself slipping from the foundation you so carefully built around yourself.

I don’t think you planned on speaking those three little words, but you felt them, and when you opened your mouth they tumbled out like a secret you couldn’t possibly have kept.

And so we both fell, but beautifully. It wasn’t the chaos I always encountered, but the warmth of something both foreign and familiar. Something only a little bit messy, but so damn right.

And suddenly it was late nights and early mornings, laughing around the dinner table, watching the stars with the grass tickling our backs. Suddenly it was two pairs of shoes by the front door, phone calls across thousands of miles and kisses that tasted like coming home.

Suddenly I couldn’t imagine anything other than the comfort of your arms around me.

And even as life will bend us, and pull us apart, and shift what we have, what we’ve built—I can promise one thing—I care. I don’t know how not to.

I don’t know how to run from something that makes my heart beat, how to stop thinking about the man whose blue eyes look like freedom and safety and whose hands make every cell come alive. I don’t know how to not love the voice that keeps me grounded, the memories that fill this heart, this road, this town with light.

I don’t know how to not care about someone who’s shown me possibility.

And maybe that will make me weak, make me vulnerable, make me victim to potential heartbreak. But I would risk it all for you. I don’t know how to unlove, unremember, un-care about us.

And maybe I don’t ever want to.

Featured Image Credit: John Schnobrich[

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Marisa Donnelly, M.Ed., is a writer/editor, credentialed teacher, proud bonus mama, and CEO of Be A Light Collective, a coaching and content creation business and digital marketplace. She is the Director of Donnelly’s Daily Apple, a flexible learning/tutoring and educational resource platform, and the lead voice for Momish Moments and Step by Step Parents, verticals dedicated to sharing and advocating for non-traditional parenting journeys. Marisa currently resides in San Diego, California, with her fiancé, kiddo, and their two rambunctious Pitbulls. ❤️


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