Two nights ago he gave me a task.

 He told me to shave my underarms.

 My underarms have been furry for several months, at his request.  The fur has not been a welcome new feature to me.  And yet, at the same time, it was something special; something that reminded me of him, of us, every day; something difficult, a challenge (earlier this year, ill and tired, I hacked it off one day, unable to manage feeling bad inside and out).  Over time, it became something I clung to when things between us were rocky, a sign of my commitment to him . . . and by implication, I hoped, his to me.

 Later, wondering why it felt like such a punch in the guts for him to ask me to shave it–I’d whined and “joked” for so long about doing it–all I could come up with was imagining him asking me to flush a wedding ring down the toilet.

 Would I do it?  For him, yes, I think so.  Because, in the end, if I did (and, uh, if we were married) . . . it wouldn’t make us any less what we are to each other. 

 I don’t know if he understands what it costs, to feel tested and tested and tested.  It’s not that it doesn’t turn me on–of course it does.  It just that it’s so much more than sexual.  Sometimes I wonder if he really understands.