The 5-Year Curse

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“Ugh… what am I doing?” I thought to myself as I walked into the restaurant. I ran a hand over my nicest “casual” blazer as I took a seat at the bar and ordered a Jameson on the rocks.

At 27, this was the first date I had been on in 2 years, and the first one I had ever been on from a dating site.


For the most part I wasn’t that bad in the looks department. Not exactly in peak physical condition like I had been in my high school years, but still in great shape from regular workouts. I still had all of my hair, a good job with a good paycheck, and stood somewhat tall at 6’1”. I certainly could have looked better, but looking at others in my age range, I also certainly could have looked MUCH worse.


I had decided to dip my toe in the dating waters a few months ago when I realized that as successful as I was for my age, I was still lonely. After a few unsuccessful attempts at online dating sites, I had found someone that I clicked with. Her name was Bethany, and she was funny, smart, sweet, and we had a lot in common. We would talk for hours for the first two weeks we were linked up, and even though she didn’t have a profile picture up (never a good sign), I found myself wanting to meet her for drinks.


She was 26, and a manager at a local bank branch. She said she had gone on a few dates over the last couple years, but she was looking for a real, human, connection, just like I was. So we had arranged to meet at our local bar to meet face-to-face.


So here I was, sipping at my drink and hoping my date wasn’t TOO hideous. Still, the way we clicked, I would be fine with anything that looked better than Danny Devito. I felt my phone vibrate so I looked down at it.


I’m at the bar, the message read, curly black hair, wearing a white blouse and black pants.


I almost typed something back, but stopped. Why ask her how I missed her when I could just take my drink and look for her? So I picked up my glass, and walked down the long row of stools looking for a woman in a black dress with curly black hair. I got about 2/3 down the bar when I spotted her, and I was happy to see that my assumptions about why she hadn’t posted a profile picture were wrong… VERY wrong


She was about 5’5”, with a sweet, open, round face of fair skin and soft feminine features that looked very accustomed to wearing bright, cheerful smiles. She had gorgeous iceberg-blue eyes, a fantastic body, and mounds of thick black hair that fell in gentle, shining ringlets to the small of her back. She was wearing a sleeveless white silk tunic over a pair of shiny black liquid leggings that clung to her like a second skin (leaving little to the imagination) and an expensive-looking pair of calf-length black leather boots. She wasn’t at all what I had expected, she was MUCH more lovely, and she was looking right at me with a smile on her face.

“Bethany?” I asked as I approached her, and I was rewarded with a kind, warm smile that lit up her face beautifully. Maybe she WAS supermodel material after all.


“Tom, I take it?” she replied as she stood up to greet me, and we embraced in a hug. My hand sunk into her mass of springy black curls, which felt soft and alive to my fingers. Hair had never been my biggest turn-on, but THIS hair was worth an exception.


We talked for about 3 hours, and the conversation flowed freely and easily. Bethany (or Beth as she insisted on being called) was an absolute pleasure to talk to, and I felt comfortable talking to her about anything within minutes. We laughed, we joked, we drank, occasionally I would admire the way her long, dark waves would gently swing in front of her face when she took a drink, shimmering in the dim bar lights and framing her face perfectly.


“Your hair is gorgeous by the way,” I blurted out loud, and immediately regretted doing so.

She chuckled lightly as she put down her drink, relieving my tension immediately.


“Well thank you,” she said as she gently squeezed my kneecap, “I grew it myself you know.”


I laughed at the joke as she looked me up and down, and then (with some obvious hesitation), she asked an odd question.


“But… I’ve got some bad news,” she said, somewhat nervously, “my hair isn’t exactly… long for this world.”


“Really?” I asked, quite surprised, “you’re cutting it?”


“Oh God no!” she exclaimed, placing her hand over mine, and I relished the feeling, “I LOVE my hair, but unfortunately, it’s not exactly my… choice… on whether or not I get to keep it.”


“What do you mean?” I asked, “this just got really interesting. Did you lose a bet or something?”


“Well…” she started, before pausing nervously then just threw her hands up in the air, “ah fuck it, you’re going to find out sooner or later, may as well get it out now. So this is gonna sound weird, but stick with me.”


I nodded, taking a sip of my drink.


“When I was 11, I was diagnosed with leukemia,” she started, her hand reaching up and nervously twirling a long lock of curly black silk around her finger, “so… naturally I had to get chemotherapy, which… naturally… made all my hair fall out.”


“Are you alright now?” I asked nervously, it was just my luck to meet this incredible woman and then fight out she might have a terminal illness.


“Oh I’m fine now, cancer free for 15 years,” she said with a slight chuckle, “but when my cancer went into remission and then disappeared, I grew my hair back out. My hair used to be super blond, like… almost silver blond, and to my shoulder-blades, poker straight, nothing like the hair I have now. But when it came back, it was super curly… like, tight barrel-curl curly, and very dark blond, almost brown.”


“So you dye it black now?” I asked, taking another sip, “Because I really like this color.”

“We’re getting to that,” she said, then continued, “so I grew it out, longer than it had been before, down to my waist, a little longer than it is now, but then five years later… it started to fall out again.”


“Again?” I asked, confused, “why?”


“It was the chemo, it did a real number on me, and I was diagnosed with a rare side-effect called ‘Recurring Follicle Exhaustion Syndrome’, or RFES for short,” she said, still nervously twirling that dark lock of hair around her finger, “apparently, what happens is the treatment hits your hair follicles so hard that they can’t function properly for extended periods of time, and after a few years, they start to give out, then fail completely, and then ‘reset’, which makes your hair fall out, and then grow back in completely different than it was before.”


“So, if you were 11 when your hair fell out, that would have made you…” my eyes grow wide in horror, “you were in high school when it fell out again?”


“Yep, and it was awful,” she said with a shudder, causing her curls to bounce around her head, catching the light with their brief flutter and looking gorgeous, “it was horrible, watching my hair which I had grown so long just fall out again, and a week later I was the only bald girl at my school.”


“That’s horrible,” I said, this time being the one to reach out and hold her hand, “I’m sorry you had to go through with that.”


“It’s OK, the other kids at school were pretty cool about it, some even shaved their heads in solidarity,” she replied with a warm smile, “I was terrified it wouldn’t grow back, but it did, this time a bright fiery red, and completely straight again. I grew it to my shoulder blades, like I had it in high school, and when I was 21 and in my junior year of college, it fell out again.”


“And when it came back, this is what it came back as,” I said, motioning to her hair.


“Bingo,” she said, “I kept it short for a few years because I couldn’t stand the pain of losing it when it was so long again, but then I realized the folly of such a crazy idea, and dedicated myself to growing it as long as I could before the inevitable.”


“But you’re 26,” I said, a horrible thought coming to my head, “which means…”

She nodded sadly, her eyes dropping.


“Yep,” she said quietly, “enjoy this hair while you can, because in about six months, seven tops, it’s going to be nothing but a memory.”


She raised her eyes to look me in mine, then smiled nervously.


“So… knowing that, do you still want to go down this path? It means dating a bald girl in a few months.”


I smiled and squeezed her hand reassuringly.


“I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a crazy connection between us,” I told her, and she smiled, “if you’re up for it, I’d like to date you even if it never grows back.”


She giggled at that and squeezed my hand back.


“Well… it’s unlikely that one day it will just NEVER grow back, but I appreciate the thought,” she said, “but I wasn’t joking about wanting you to enjoy it while you can.”


“Well, I don’t see any reason not to start now,” I replied. I slowly reached out and gently squeezed the ends of her hair, my GOD, her hair was so soft, and used them to slowly pull her face towards mine for a kiss.


She didn’t pull back, and our lips met softly as I reached further up and buried my hand deeply in her soft curls as we kissed.


5 months, 13 days later


“I’m telling you babe, I don’t see anything,” I told Beth as she leaned in closer to the mirror and examined her hairline, “I think you’re just imagining things.”


Beth continued to silently examine her hairline, a look of what appeared to be barely-restrained terror on her face. After a few moments she pulled her hair back like she was trying to put it in a ponytail, turned her head to the left and right, looking closely for something she was dreading.


Beth and I had been dating for nearly 6 months, and I was hopelessly, desperately, madly in love with her. She had a way of making me open up to her that made me feel relieved rather than uncomfortable, and after just a handful of months I felt like I had known her my whole life. We shared everything, our hopes, fears, desires, everything. We did everything together, and my moments away from her were simply spent with me counting the minutes until we were re-united.


Which was why I felt so helpless watching her look for something she had been dreading for the last five years. Finally, after a few moments, I heard her let out an audible sigh, and I saw her shoulders slump.


“No, it’s starting,” she said as she dropped her thick, fluffy curls, which fell perfectly back into place, “it’s definitely starting, this god damn thing is stealing my hair away from me again. God DAMMIT!”


“Hey, hey, hey,” I tried to reassure her as she walked away from the mirror, wringing her hands nervously, “where is it? I still don’t see anything.”


She sighed as she walked over and plucked my phone out of my hand and opened it. I watched her fingers fly over it furiously before she eventually began turning her body towards me and tilted her head at an angle to expose her forehead.


“OK,” she said as she handed my phone back to me, then resumed her pose, “look between the picture and me now, look at my hairline, can you see any sign of receding?”


I looked down at my phone and suddenly understood. She had pulled up a picture I had taken of her on one of our first dates, now over five months ago. Her smile in the picture was now replaced with a look of worry, and her white silk blouse was now replaced with a ruffled black dress, but other than that her pose was dead on.

I looked at her hairline, first in the photo, then in real life. I didn’t see anything at first, but as I looked harder and harder, I began to see the dimple in her hairline did look a tiny bit deeper. It was barely noticeable, but it was there. Apparently, my face gave it away.


“Fuck,” Beth said, trotting away, “you saw it didn’t you? I just saw your face change.”


“That’s just your part babe,” I lied, trying to reassure her, “it’s always been like that.”


“No, not like this,” she said, turning away from me and plopping down sadly at her vanity, “if you look there, you can see it’s starting to recede just a tiny bit, just like the other four times this happened. You may not be able to notice it, but I do, and it’s happening too fast to be normal. I’ve also been noticing more and more hair on my brush over the last couple weeks”


I came up behind her and looked closely. I couldn’t see anything, but she knew herself better than I did, so I took her at her word. I let out a sigh of my own, then leaned over so I could look her in the eyes through the mirror as she continued to look in the mirror.


“How long?” I asked as I reached down and lovingly took her soft curls in my hand and began to gently tug them, she loved this, and she needed as much stress relief as she could get.


“Probably a week until it’s noticeable, and then another week until it’s all gone,” she said as she shut her eyes and enjoyed the sensation of my fingers gliding through her silken, curly hair, “it always starts with the shedding, which I’ve been seeing a lot of the last couple weeks, then the receding hairline, which I just started to notice. In a few days, maybe a week, the first bald patches will start to appear, and then a few days after that, you’ll start to see my scalp through my hair, and then a few days after that…”


She stopped talking, the finality of what she was facing too much to speak about. I didn’t know what to say, all I could do was reach down and re-assuredly run my fingers through her soft curls, and after a few moments, she piped back up.


“What sucks is that I really love my hair like it is now,” she said, gently moaning occasionally as I continued to slide my fingers through those raven locks, “but when it comes back, I don’t know if the new style will be as nice as this. I love the whole curly-black look.”


“Well, like I told you, I am not going to love you a single bit less without hair,” I said, trying to re-assure her, “and now I get to see you try a bunch of new styles. Hell, I may even like you bald.”


She laughed at that and shook her head, pulling her mane from my hands.


“I sincerely doubt that,” she said as she lifted her doomed hair up in front of her and looked longingly at it, “but yes, I do know you’ll still love me when it’s gone. I don’t know how it will be possible when I look like Gollum, but I know you will.”


“All gone,” I said, reaching behind her neck and picking up her hair again, but instead of running my fingers through it I simply bent down and buried my face in that mass of gorgeous black silk, loving the feel of the soft curls pressed against my face, a sensation I knew I would never feel again in a couple weeks, “all this beautiful, gorgeous, silky hair… all gone.”


“All gone,” she repeated sadly, then stood up and turned, wrapping her arms around my neck and kissing me, “I think I need to let you enjoy it for as long as you can if this is really the end.”


She reached down and took my hand, then began leading me to the bedroom, and my early grieving over her hair quickly blossomed to excitement over what was about to happen.


The next day Beth’s curls were as soft, shiny, and fluffy as ever, with a wonderful sheen and a playful, poofy bounce to them with every step she took. But as magnificent as her hair looked, it couldn’t block my memory of the multiple curly black strands I had seen on her pillow that morning, or the abnormally full brush she had used to get ready, or the abundance of strands wove themselves in my fingers when I ran my hands through her hair. I couldn’t deny it anymore, her hair was dying, and I spent the day fulfilling her wish of enjoying it to the best of my ability.


Two days later I could finally begin to see the damage this disease was inflicting on her hair, as I noticed that the receding hairline she had pointed out just three days earlier was rapidly becoming more and more apparent. A few days later, the first bald patches began to appear, islands of white scattered throughout her dark sea of black silk, and steadily growing wider.

A few days later and I could begin to see her scalp through her hair as more and more of it vanished away. She had tried to hide it, but I had talked her out of it, telling her not to do something like that just for me. As the days went by her scalp became more and more pronounced as her hair grew thinner and thinner, and then a few days later, just 16 days after telling me that she was losing her hair for the fourth time in her life, the last few strands fell from her head, and just like that, her magnificent black silken curls were gone forever.

“I really hate this part,” she said as she stood looking in a mirror at her completely bare head, “there’s always that awful two-week period before my new hair starts growing in again.”


I walked over to her and gently rubbed my hands over her head, squeezing it gently like some form of massage as I looked at her. I realized that she was wearing the same dress she had been wearing when pointed out that she was starting to lose her hair, almost like poetry that she would be wearing it as she lot the final traces.


As I looked at her I could see her eyes being turned down, but I still found her absolutely breathtaking, hair or no hair, I just wished she would believe me when I told her. For now though, all I could do was grab both sides of her face, tip her head down, and kiss her bare head. I loved this woman, and no loss of hair could ever make me find her less attractive.


Two weeks later the first buds of new hair began to blossom over Beth’s head, and within a week, she was sporting a pelt of soft, down-like fuzz on her entire head. Her hair grew fast, and we could tell right away that her new hair color was going to be a dark, beautiful strawberry-blonde.


As Beth’s hair grew out we stayed indoors and watched movies or played video games since she didn’t want to go out in public if she didn’t need to. Luckily, Beth’s hair grew fast, and within two months she had it styled into an uncharacteristically short, but still cute pixie cut, and we celebrated with our first outside date since it had fallen out.

“I hate short hair,” Beth said as she slipped out of her leather jacket and placed it over the nearby chair, “it just feels so… WRONG.


“Well, I typically don’t care for short hair either,” I said, “but if it makes you feel better, it actually looks good on you.”


She smiled at that and squeezed my hand.


“Thanks babe,” she replied, then took her hair back and looked at her menu, “but I can’t wait for it to get long again.”


“Out of curiosity,” I replied, placing my own menu down and looking at her, “how long are you thinking of going this time?”


She placed her menu down too and looked into my eyes.


“Well, every time this happens, I always refuse to grow it out for years because I hate the idea of losing a lot of hair,” she replied, strangely nervous for some reason, “Like this last time, I kept my black curls at my shoulder blades for so long, that when I decided I wanted to grow it super long, I only had a year to do so before I lost it all. But this time… THIS time I want to grow it out as long as possible before the inevitable takes it again. Will you help me?”


“That sounds awesome, and I’d love to help,” I said, enthusiastic to see her with long, flowing locks once again, “but how can I?”


“Just stop me from keeping it at one length,” she replied, “Tell me I need to go longer and longer, and if I fight you on it, remind me of this conversation. If I want to cut it back, limit how much, just do whatever you can to keep me growing.”


“I can do that,” I replied, “assuming you go all in on this, how long are you hoping for?”

“VERY Long,” she replied with a smile as she looked back at her menu.

“Like to your waist again?” I asked.


“Longer,” she replied, still smiling, but not looking up.


“Your butt?” I asked, getting very aroused at this prospect.


“Looooooooongerrrrrrrr,” she replied, her smile growing wider.


“Like, to your thighs?” I asked, and she finally looked me in the eyes.


“I’ve always wanted to have hair down to my knees,” she said, and giggled as my jaw dropped, “that’s my goal. God, knee-length hair would be SOOOOOO awesome, and I figure now is the time to try it.”


“Wow…” I said, nearly struck speechless, “knee-length hair… just think of how fun that will be in the bedroom.”


And she giggled again.


To say Beth’s hair grew fast was an understatement. Her hair grew quickly, and thicker by the week. As it grew out to her ears and then her chin, we saw that not only was her hair going to come out in a gorgeous caramel copper color, but it also had a slight wave to it as well. It was a perfect amount of waviness, where she could easily straighten it if she wished, or accentuate the curls with some mousse and a curler.


A year and four months after her hair had fallen out, I proposed to her on our one-year anniversary. She said yes, and we were married 10 months later. I’ll always remember how beautiful she looked that day. Her had grown out quickly over those 24 moths, and when we got married her beautiful strawberry-blonde locks had fallen to just below her shoulder blades, to where her waist began to taper. She had deep-conditioned it, curled it slightly, and added large twin braids at the temples, pulled back loosely and tied at the back, with the hair spilling down to join the rest of her locks. It looked beautiful, casual and elegant at the same time, and our wedding was the best day of my life.

Beth continued to grow her hair out with regular trims and deep-conditioning treatments, and it reached the small of her back two years and six months after she began to grow it out, right where her black curls had been when we first met. At several points she began to question whether she really wanted to grow it out as long as we had discussed, but I fulfilled her wishes and always talked her out of it. It was an easy request, since I was dying to see what this gorgeous head of hair would look like down to her knees.


“I’ve always heard of women with hair long enough to sit on,” she said as she finished up with her hair for our date, “but I never thought I’d be one of them with my condition. I’ve gotta say, it’s kind of annoying.”


“Oh I can imagine,” I replied, watching her magnificent mane of glistening golden silk shimmer as she finished straightening it, “but look at that hair, I’d say it’s worth it.”


She smiled at me as she turned to face me, placing the straightener on the counter.


“Well?” she asked, turning to show me her freshly styled mane, “what do you think?”


Her hair was drool-worthy. She had straightened it for our date, with the ends slightly flipped out to add some body and volume. It now hung nearly to her butt in a golden waterfall of living silk, her red highlights giving the perfect touch of color to that amazing hair. It went perfectly with her outfit, a black silk dress and heels, and I could feel my heart racing as she showed it off.

“It looks… wow,” was all I could muster, and she giggled as she turned to look at it once again in the mirror.


“I’ve gotta say, I miss my black curls something awful,” she told me, “but this may be the best my hair has ever looked.”


I agreed, and I realized I couldn’t wait to see how it looked when it reached its final length.


Four years after losing her hair, Beth’s magnificent mane crept down past her waist, past her butt, and fell to the top of her thighs. One day, while attending a wedding where Beth was acting as a bridesmaid, I couldn’t help but admire that amazing head of hair. The focus was supposed to be the bride, but Beth looked amazing with her gorgeous, soft waves tumbling to her thighs, the strawberry blonde color contrasting beautifully with her long, burgundy, velvet bridesmaid dress.

Sitting in the audience, I could hear several people asking about her, and remarking on her hair.

“Is that her real hair?” I heard someone whisper.

“That hair can’t be real, can it?” someone else said.

“No, that’s GOTTA be a wig, right?” another voice chimed, and I chuckled silently to myself.

It was strange to think that in less than a year, it would all be gone, passed into history like her gorgeous black curls, never to be seen again. It was an odd thought, but one that reinforced the importance of enjoying that hair for every moment I could while it was still attached to her head. So as we danced, and ate, and drank, my hands were constantly buried in that thick, soft hair trying to commit it to memory, as I was sure she was doing as well.


Four years and six months after Beth’s soft, shiny black curls had begun to fall out, and just around six months from when we were expecting the entire ordeal to happen once again, Beth finally attained her goal of having knee-length hair (even longer when she straightened it). The effect was everything I hoped it would be… and more so! We decided to spend a night on the town to celebrate. I put on my casual blazer and turned to face Beth as she came trotting down the stairs wearing a white sundress, her hair down in its full glory.


“You like?” she asked as she came down the stairs, and once again, I was stunned into silence.

I had always loved the volume and body of Beth’s black curls, but her new hair put it to shame in every conceivable way. Thick, luscious waves of red-gold silk flowed down her back, billowing gently with every movement, making it look like a shimmering golden cloud of silk glistening in the lights. It was perfection… no other word could describe hair like that.


“No matter how many times I see it, it never fails to impress me,” I said as I walked over to her and scooped her up in my arms, spinning her around as her hair flew behind her like a cloak of silk, “now to enjoy it for the next six months.”


“Yeah,” she said, a tiny bit of darkness creeping into her voice before she looked back into my eyes, “so we better enjoy the hell out of it.”


And enjoy it we did. That night we had mad, passionate sex to celebrate her hair finally reaching her lifetime goal length, most of the time my hands were dug deeply into that mass of red-gold, shimmering silk. When we were done we just laid there, panting, both of buried in her mass of hair and falling asleep wrapped up in it.


As the months went on, we found new ways to love and dote on Beth’s hair, styles, deep conditionings, expensive products, we spared no expense when it came to doting on that magnificent head of hair. She trimmed it regularly to keep it at that length rather than grow it out, making it thicker and softer as time went on, especially when combined with all the deep conditioning treatments.


But as we got closer and closer to the five-year mark I began to see a change in Beth’s demeanor. She spoke about how much she loved her hair less and less, and slipped into a quiet mood every time it was brought up. I knew why, but it didn’t make it any easier seeing her beginning to mourn the impending death of her beautiful hair more and more. I was beginning to fear complimenting her hair because I didn’t want to depress her, even though it managed to look more remarkable and voluminous by the day.


The months went on despite her growing fears, and finally the five-year mark arrived of when she had first begun growing her hair back. I wanted to associate something positive with the event rather than stoke her fears, so I took her out to our favorite restaurant and a movie to follow it up.


I walked into our theater holding our snacks and after the trailers had started, but I was still able to spot Beth’s massive mane in the near-darkness, especially since it was bigger than ever after a recent, eventful trip to the stylist. I sat next to her and began divvying out the goods.


“Gimme gimme gimme,” she whispered as she held out her hands for her box of gummy worms, which I handed her with a smile.


“I didn’t think I was going to be able to spot you,” I said as she tore the box open, “but your hair… my GOD it’s big, makes it impossible to miss.”


She giggled in good spirit. She had gone to her hairdresser today for a trim and had decided to try something new with her hair for the final leg of its adventure, having her hairdresser fashion her soft waves into thick, gentle ringlets that bounced playfully with every step, adding so much “oomph” and volume to her magnificent mane that I honestly couldn’t tell which was bigger, her hair, or her entire body. It looked amazing, and went perfectly with her casual, but still glamorous ensemble, a black tank top under a red flannel shirt, and the same skintight, shiny black leggings and leather boots I had met her in.

“Do you like it though?” she asked as she reached her entire arms into her massive pile of curls and fluffed them up, “I wanted to try all the different styles I could before… you know…”


“Yeah, I know babe,” I said as I reached over and began gently fondling those springy curls, “but just like last time, it won’t make a difference to me either way. And to answer your question, yes… I REALLY like it, but to be honest… ah nevermind.”


“Whoa, whoa, WHOA,” she said, reaching out and plucking my hand out of her curls, “I don’t think so, what were you going to say?”


“Nah, it’s too… just no…” I tried to shake her off, but she wasn’t having it, “I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about something.”


“Well you better tell me then, or I’m going to get the wrong idea anyways,” she said, “so spill it bug guy.”


I sighed loudly, then decided to just come clean with something I’d been holding in for years.

“OK, fine, you know I LOVE your hair, right? Like, I love it more than I ever thought I could love a head of hair,” I said as I reached over and gently tugged on a thick handful of soft, silken curls, “but… well… I’m kinda looking forward to seeing you bald again.”


“What?!?” she exclaim-whispered, but there was no rejection or harm in her words, just genuine curiosity, “you preferred me bald?”


“I wouldn’t say ‘preferred’ exactly, I’m just kind of excited to… I don’t know,” I said, still holding her mass of curls in my hand, “OK, look at it this way, your favorite food is pasta right?”


“Is this because my hair looks like cavatappi right now?” Beth asked, twirling one of her gentle ringlets around her finger.


“But you also love sushi, right?” I continued, “so imagine having pasta all the time, like four nights a week. You love it, and you can get all kinds of different pasta with different sauces, but wouldn’t you want to switch it up with sushi after a while to mix things up?”


“I guess,” she replied, still looking down at her hair curled around her finger, “so you’re saying me being bald is another one of your favorite foods?”


“Hmmmm… good thought,” I replied, “I wouldn’t say it’s a favorite… but I certainly didn’t dislike it, especially the way your bare head felt. It was something so unlike anything I’ve ever felt when we made love, and I kinda miss that.”


“Well… you better get used to it,” she said, finally letting go of her curl, which sprang up and bounced perfectly back into place, “because you’re going to be getting a LOT of that meal pretty soon.”


“But that’s the thing, I won’t really,” I replied, and she raised an eyebrow at me, “I’ll be getting that, and burgers, and steak, and chicken, and all kinds of meals as you grow it back out in whatever styles you have along the way.”


“Well there’s something you’re forgetting in the analogy,” she said as she curled up tight against me, “in this little example of yours, you’re implying that my hair right now is your version of pasta, your favorite dish. When it’s gone, it’s never coming back, it’s going to be a different color, a different texture, a different thickness. After you’re done with this meal, you’re never going to have pasta again, doesn’t that make you said?”


“Not really,” I said, and honestly, “you’re my pasta, the hair is just the style and sauce.”

“Oooooh, good recovery,” she said with a giggle, and cuddled even closer, but it was the first time she had spoken about the impending destruction of her hair… and didn’t sound devastated.


Her hair didn’t start falling out on the five-year anniversary of her growing it back. In fact a day passed… then two… then a week… then a month. Every day was a gift for us, a day we shouldn’t have had to enjoy that magnificent mound of billowing, soft, wavy silk that adorned her head. Over time, the large barrel curl style began to lose volume, and before long it reverted back to its normal wavy, but still incredibly voluminous, fluffy style. Every one of those days was spent with her hair in a remarkable long hairstyle, or an intricate, elaborate bun, or sometimes simply worn down in all of its full glory, THOSE days were also spent with my hands dug deeply into that ravishing, shimmering mane, stroking it softly or fluffing it up for her voluntarily, the soft whisper it made as I did so was nothing short of heavenly.


But then one day, 3 months, 3 weeks, and 1 day after we celebrated the 5-year anniversary, everything changed.


It started with a look.


Beth was at her vanity, brushing out her magnificent mane for bed. I was lying in bed reading a book, when suddenly I felt like someone was looking at me. I looked over the top of my book to see Beth sitting there, looking directly at me, a look of sad worry on her face. Her eyes moved to her brush, and I looked down at it to see that it looked significantly fuller than it normally did. My eyes moved up to meet hers and she gave me a sad nod when our eyes met, then went back to brushing.


Overall the damage to her mane was minimal, just 30 or so more hairs than normal in the brush, but we both knew that it signaled the beginning of the end for her glorious hair. Beth tended to put her hair into a massive braid for bed, or sometimes a bun that was the size of a small cantaloupe, but tonight she simply set the brush down with a sigh and fell into bed next to me, her hair loose and covering the bed like a blanket of living satin that shimmered in the lamp lights. I curled up with her in silence as she draped her hair over us like a curtain, and after a while, we both drifted off to sleep under that remarkable blanket.


The next day was the same thing, but with more hair in the brush as she ran it through her mane. The second day yielded even more hair, and by the third day poor Beth had to clean out her brush every 20 or so strokes through her locks. Part of the problem was that Beth’s hair was massive, each strand a treasure, but her hair was so healthy that she only lost about a dozen or so strands every time she brushed her hair at night. By day four, that number was closer to 100, and it kept growing.


Beth’s hair was so thick and lustrous that she continued to lose more and more of it for over a week, and we STILL couldn’t see any signs of damage. Eight days after she flashed me that crushed look, we were standing in our bedroom, Beth holding her hair behind her head tightly like she was in the middle of tying it back into a ponytail, and I was inspecting her hairline.


“Nothing yet,” I re-assured her as I thoroughly examined her hair, “still as beautiful as ever.”

She let out a loud sigh of relief as she let go of her hair, letting it billow back down to its full, shimmering glory, but then held up her hands in front of her to show off a few strands that were stuck between her fingers.


“Yeah,” she said sardonically as she opened her fingers and let the strands float down to the floor, “as beautiful as ever.”


“Seriously babe, your hairline is perfect,” I told her honestly, reaching deep into her thick, fluffy mane and stroking it lovingly, “it’s as gorgeous as ever.”


“For now, yeah, but you know what’s happening. It’s dying Tom, my hair…” she paused a moment as she got a little choked up, “is going… away. It might take a day, two days, a week, but pretty soon you’re going to see my hairline receding… and then the bald spots… and then the thinning… and then… nothing.”


Good god, how is this possible? I silently wondered as I continued to lovingly stroke her amazing hair, how can something so thick, so healthy, so warm and soft and fluffy and alive, be gone in less than a week? It doesn’t seem possible. It’s like magic.


And I realized her disease WAS like magic, some form of horrible, dark, evil magic, a curse. Never could she ever just grow her hair the way she wanted and enjoy it. Her hair, whether it was a black, chin-length bob, a blond shoulder-length bob, or the waterfall of beautiful red-gold waves that she was currently enjoying, her hair was always doomed. From the moment the first sprouts of stubble appeared, her hair was destined to die… living on borrowed time, and one day fated to end up in the floor, not matter how remarkable or beautiful it was.

“Well no matter what babe, I’m going to be with you every step of the way,” I told her as I continued stroking her hair, “we’re gonna do this together, just like last time… and just like all the times ahead of us.”


“No, not exactly, because I’m not going to let it happen this time,” she said, and I looked at her curiously, “this time… I’m taking control.”


Beth got up and walked to our bedroom, leaving me completely baffled and sitting there in confusion. I heard her shuffling around in our room for a few while before returning a few minutes later wearing her expensive, gold satin dressing gown and carrying a small white box. She sat next to me and tucked her feet under her legs, then faced me with a nervous look on her face.


“OK, here me out,” she said, fiddling with the box in her hands, “let’s be honest, this is the most amazing hair I ever could have asked for, and it’s the best I think it’s ever going to look, right?”


I nodded, looking at the red-gold mass of shimmering waves spilling over the back of her dressing gown.


“This is how I want to remember this hair, not falling out, not as a thin layer on my head, I want to remember it like THIS,” she reached up and ran her hands lovingly through her thick hair to make her point, fluffing it up in the process, “long, and big, and thick, and soft, and wonderful. I don’t want my last experience with this hair to be watching the last few wisps fall out dramatically.”


She continued to repeatedly plunge her hands into her mane and fluff it up lovingly, absentmindedly tossing away the loose strands that continued to fill her fingers. I had seen her do this countless times during our courtship and marriage, but there was something different to it now, a sadness that wasn’t there before, like she was trying to cherish the moment as if it was her last.


“OK, I follow,” I said suspiciously as her hair continued to billow around her head wildly, “so what are you proposing?”


She stopped fluffing her hair, which now framed her head beautifully as if it was surrounded by a cloud of red-gold silk, and looked me in the eye.


“How much do you love me?” she asked bluntly, so bluntly that I laughed.


“More than I thought I could ever love anything on Earth,” I replied 100% honestly, “why?”


“Because we’re about to test how honest that statement is,” she said, and she slid the box my way.


I opened it and my mouth fell open in shock. In the box were a set of brand new, expensive looking, gleaming silver Wahl clippers.


“I want you to shave my head,” she said frankly, “right now… because this is the last time my hair will ever be this beautiful.”


“Babe, I… I don’t…” I started, trying to figure out what was happening, trying to frantically come up with a way to save those beautiful golden waves.


But then I realized she was absolutely right. THIS was the pinnacle of how her hair would look. THIS was how she wanted to remember it. And THIS was how I should want to remember it to, in all of its full splendor and glory. I was going to miss this hair something awful, sure, but I had been 100% honest about wanting to see her bald again. I would always cherish and remember all the amazing ways we used those silken curls in bed, the sensation of it sliding across my body, but if I did what she asked, we were moments away from sex with that bizarre, unique, wonderful feeling of her freshly bald head in bed.


She looked at me quietly as these thoughts raced through my head… wondering what I would say. But against her expectations, I simply chuckled, shook my head, and pulled the clippers from the box.


“OK my love,” I said as I stood up and held my hand out to her, “let’s do it.”


Her eyes grew wide and she inhaled deeply, terror crossing her face. As she took my hand and stood up I wondered why she suddenly reacted so dramatically, then I realized that my response had legitimately surprised her. She had been expecting me to fight her on this, to try and save her hair like my first thought had been, before finally being worn down after hours of convincing. Instead, by agreeing right away, I had cut down on those final hours she had left with her hair, and now the complete annihilation of her hair was imminent, she was less than 5 minutes away from being bald… and she knew it.


“Are you sure you want to do it now?” I asked her as we slowly made our way down the hall towards our master bedroom, where we both knew the shearing would be the cleanest and easiest.


She was silent for a long moment, and in that moment I knew that my guess had been correct. After a while I reached around her waist and pulled her to me as we walked, and she laid her head on my shoulder, her long, soft hair spilling over my shoulder and tumbling down both of our backs. I realized with a massive pang of sadness that this was the last time her hair would ever spill over my body.


“No,” she said simply, but quietly, “no, this is right. It’s time. I’m just going to miss it SOOOOO much. This is the best my hair has ever looked, and I want to keep it forever. It’s just… it’s not FAIR!”


We got to the bathroom and I pulled a chair up for her to sit in, which she did obediently. As she sat, her hair shimmered and rustled delicately as it spilled down the back of the chair, and I realized that just like when it spilled over my shoulder a moment ago, this was the last time it would ever do so over a chair. Her hair was quickly running out of final moments, final experiences, and we were quickly running out of final memories of it.


Never again would she put it up in a ponytail, or a braid, or curl it like she had a few months ago into the massive, springy ringlets. A short while ago, it had billowed beautifully in the wind for the last time, and we never even knew it, and I would never again fall asleep underneath that mass of living silk like a blanket. These were the twilight moments for that gorgeous, shining mass of silken curls, and in mere moments, it would be gone forever, just like her black curls from seemingly so long ago.


“Hurry, before I change my mind,” Beth said, snapping me out of my daze.


I reached down into the cabinet and pulled out the expensive Wahl clippers Beth had told me about, and I realized then and there that she had been planning to do this for a long time. I plugged them in and Beth gulped audibly as I began to apply a light drop of oil to the blades.

“If you’re having second thoughts babe, tell me now,” I said as I rubbed the oil onto the blades, making them glisten as brilliantly as Beth’s long, soft hair, “because in about 15 seconds it’s going to be too late.”


She looked at herself in the mirror for a long moment, her mane framing her face beautifully, and for a moment I thought she was going to, but she closed her eyes and dipped her chin down a bit in defeat.


“No, definitely not,” she said, quietly but determinedly, “THIS is how I want to remember my hair for a change. It’s going to hurt losing it no matter what.”


“OK,” I said, bending over and kissing her on the top of her head. Her thick hair felt soft and silky against my face… for the last time, and I took a deep breath to inhale that amazing strawberry and lilac scent her hair always had… for the last time. I snapped the clippers on and she jumped at the sound, her hair bouncing beautifully with the movement.

For the last time.


I couldn’t believe this was happening. Just a few minutes ago I was wondering how such a magnificent mane of hair could be gone in less than a week, now I was faced with the very real fact that the last traces of this mane would be gone in just a few minutes. I didn’t want to do it… I hated the idea of doing it… but I had to. I had to do it for her… I had to be strong like she was in making this decision.


She tipped her head down, causing the hair in the front to move slightly forward and make the shave easier. Clearly she had done her homework on this. I thought about asking one last time if she was sure, but decided to get this over with as quickly and painlessly as possible. So after taking one last glance at what I knew would be the most beautiful head of hair I would ever see, I placed the clippers at her forehead and moved them back into her lush, thick hairline.


Two sounds occurred the split-second the clippers bit into her hairline. The first was a loud whimper as Beth felt the clippers dig into the first strands of her immense, beautiful hairline, chewing through the silken locks and plunging deeper into her thick mane. The second sound was the clippers themselves groaning loudly as it encountered hair that even it wasn’t prepared to tackle. The clippers slowed down, the motor grinding loudly, and for a moment I thought that Beth’s hair had won, and that we would need to let her hair continue to thin before we could do this. I was wondering what we could do to cover up the tiny, stamp-sized section of already shaved scalp, when suddenly I heard the engine pick its speed back up, and it glided deeper into her lush jungle of shimmering, wavy silk, causing the first strands of shining, red-gold waves to float gently to the floor.


As the clippers sank deeper and deeper into the thick mane, more and more of that silken mass fell faster and faster to the floor in a single swipe of the clippers. The first strands of hair that had fallen were quickly replaced with tresses falling around her head… then clumps… then massive sheets of her red-gold silk tumbled to the floor, so thick and heavy that they began making audible thumps as the hit the floor. It wasn’t long before the first swipe of the clippers was done, and I looked down at the awful crime against humanity I had just committed.


A bare, angry strip of rough, harsh stubble ran down the center of her head, surrounded on either side by thick, lush, shining tresses of wavy silk. I had just destroyed the most beautiful head of hair on the planet, and I was only getting started. With a gulp, I placed the clipped next to the bare strip, and moved them back into her hairline on the right side to continue the destruction of that glorious mane.


As I peeled off another layer of Beth’s remarkable living silk, I was shocked at how much I hated myself for doing this to her hair, despite the fact that she had begged me to. I felt wrong… so wrong… destroying something so exceptional, even though it was maybe a week away from happening naturally anyways. I wondered if I could do this act without that hanging over her head. If Beth never had this curse, but had come to me one day with a set of clippers in her hand, placed them in mine, and said “shave me”, could I have done it then? I realized the answer would have likely been no, and I was thankful that I never had to face that scenario.


But then again, if Beth had been allowed to keep her hair like this, she would have probably kept it to her knees until it turned completely gray… and then long after.


I reached the back of her head and snapped out of my thoughts, looking down in horror at the second strip of angry, bare stubble I had just created. The floor was absolutely covered in hair, enough hair for 5 women, and we were only two swipes in. I wondered if I would even be able to walk in this hair when the deed was done, then forced myself to go to the other side of her head to continue the shearing.


The clippers began chewing their way through a third sheaf of her hair, denuding a good chunk of the hair remaining on top of her head, and she was now resembling someone with male pattern baldness. The lush hair on her head was quickly dwindling away, vanishing faster than even her curse could have stolen it away from her. It hadn’t even been 30 seconds since I started shearing her and all I wanted more than anything on Earth was to be able to make love with her one last time while she still had this hair, to feel it tangle around me and slide across my body as we were wrapped up in each other, and to fall asleep under it one last time.


I moved to her sideburns, removing the remainder of her hair on the right side with just a few more quick swipes, marveling that this remarkable head of luscious hair that had taken her over five years of dedicated care, love, affection, and work just took a few quick seconds to destroy. I moved to her left side and followed suit, stripping layer after layer of that gorgeous hair away. Less than a minute ago, Beth’s hair had been long, thick, flowing, and remarkable beyond words, now all that remained of that once glorious mane was a single long sideburn on the left side of her head, but with a quick swipe, I took off even that last trace of what had once been her most prized possession, and her magnificent masses of knee-length red-gold flowing silk were gone forever, passed into history like her long, black curls.


I turned off the clippers and looked down at the sea of hair covering the floor, shaking my head in awe at JUST HOW MUCH OF IT there was. Each step I took, my foot sank into a pile of soft silk that had once belonged on Beth’s head, but when I walked in front of her and looked at her face, now hanging down dejectedly, I was met with the same beautiful, bare face that I remembered first seeing over five years ago when I had first witnessed her strange disease take hold, no longer framed by her long fall of delicate, soft waves. It had been a long time, but she still looked as beautiful without hair as she did with it.


She had a sad look on her face, so I made my way behind her and kissed her on the top of the head. It was then I noticed the tiniest of bald patches in the stubble, not even the size of a pea, near the nape. She had been right, the hair loss had begun in earnest, her hair had never stood a chance.


“You look beautiful babe,” I told her, and she smiled sadly at me in a show of gratitude. I could tell she didn’t think so, so I kissed her long and deep, and then I went on to show her just how beautiful I found her.


As predicted, her stubble slowly shed off of her head over the next week, and before long she was all the way back to being completely bald.


“I hate this look,” she said as she walked out of the bathroom, the last trace of her stubble gone and her makeup freshly done for our date, “but it feels a little easier with the worst part out of the way.”


“I imagine getting rid of 99.9999999999% of your hair ahead of time would make the last part a whole lot less traumatic,” I said as I looked at her, standing there in all her bald beauty, “you look really cute by the way, I forgot how much I like that dress.”

“Thanks!” she said, twirling to show it off, “I don’t know if you remember, but it’s the dress I was wearing when you first saw my hair thinning over five years ago.”


“Ohhh yeaaaaaaah,” I replied, remembering that day, and how great she had looked in the dress back then, “still looks great on you, with or without hair.”


She chuckled, but self-consciously reached up to feel her completely bare head.


“God, it feels like rubber,” she said, “like, really soft rubber… but still…”


“Hey, you know I LOVED your hair,” I said as I walked over to her and rubbed her bare head, “but I’m dead serious when I say I love this look too. In fact, I can’t wait to get home and ‘love’ it some more.”


She giggled again, and I could see that she was finally coming out of the depression that losing her beloved mane had put her into.


“Well, I guess you should, because you only have a couple of weeks to ‘love’ it before it starts growing back in.”


“Can’t wait for that either,” I said, finally dropping my hands from her head, “by the way, out of sheer curiosity, how do you think your new hair is going to grow back? Curly? Straight? Blond? Brunette?”


Beth furrowed her brow, genuinely surprised by the question.


“Well, I started life with poker-straight baby blond hair, then super-curly dark blond, then straight fiery red, then curly and black, then wavy and strawberry-blond, so now maybe… back to baby-blond and straight?”


“What are you hoping for?” I followed-up, and after a moment she shrugged.


“I really don’t care,” she said, “as long as it’s as thick and healthy as it’s always been, I’m kinda looking forward to being surprised.”


“Are you going to grow it to your knees again?” I asked as I held up her leather jacket for her to slip into easily.


“Probably not,” she said as she slid into her coat, she began reaching behind her to pull her long hair out from underneath it out of reflex, but quickly stopped, “don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I did, but that was a lot of work. I still want to grow it long though, like maybe to my waist?”


“Works for me,” I said as she turned and gave me a quick peck, then we headed out for our date.


3 years, 4 months later


Beth’s prediction had been half correct. Her hair did indeed come back straight as an arrow, as opposed to her soft waves from last time, or her thick curls from the time before. She was wrong about the color however, and instead of coming back in baby-blond, her hair was now a rich, beautiful chocolate shade of dark brunette, with hints of dark red. It was a gorgeous color, one that suited her perfectly, and I watched excitedly over three years as it grew from stubble, to a pixie, to her chin, to her shoulder blades, and then to her waist.


“OK, tell me what you think,” she said from the bathroom.


“Alright, I’m very intrigued,” I told her honestly, getting excited to see what the end result would look like.


I had just gotten home from work and Beth was getting ready for our date night. She had just gotten back from the stylist, and was about to show me the style she was planning to keep for the next couple years. When I last saw her, her thick, luscious brown hair had fallen to the top of her butt, completely straight, and shimmering beautifully. She had told me she had cut quite a bit off for this new style, but it had come out so great that she didn’t even care.

“Remember babe, it’s gonna be shorter,” she said, trying to prepare me.


“Will you just come out already?” I laughed, “I’m sure it will look amazing.


She came out of the bathroom wearing a soft white cashmere top, and her favorite shiny black leggings over a pair of black leather boots. Her makeup was freshly done, complete with dark eyes and ruby red lips. She was breathtaking, and seemed to glow with confidence as she showed off her new hairstyle… and for good reason.


Her hair was a work of art. She had cut off several inches and it now fell to the small of her back rather than the top of her butt, making it thicker and healthier than it had looked before she left. She had curled the bottom few inches and mixed them in with the rest of her thick hair, and the resulting style now made her gorgeous chocolate locks stack off of her back in a beautiful display of luscious, shimmering silk.


“Damn babe!” I said as she walked over to me for a kiss with a smile on her face, “it looks fantastic.”


“Not on the lips,” she said as I leaned in, and I planted one on her cheek as she turned pulled a mirror out to make sure her hair looked perfect for our date, fluffing it up with one hand as she held the mirror with the other, “I really love how thick it is, but are you OK with the length? She cut off like five inches.”

“I think it looks perfect,” I said as I buried my face into her hair to plant another kiss, “I think this may be my favorite style of yours.”


“Even more that my knee-length waves?” she asked, genuinely surprised.


“That hair was more impressive,” I said, trying to best verbalize how I felt about the two styles, “but I think this is more you, and in a lot of ways, I like it more.”


“OK, well good,” she said as she turned to flash me a smile, but there was a tiny hint of sadness in it at what she said next, “because this is how I’m going to keep it until… you know.”


“Then I plan on enjoying it every second until then,” I tried to reassure her, “now come on, let’s get going so we can show it off.”


“Sounds great,” she said, putting the mirror down and grabbing her coat, “let’s go.”


As we walked to the car I watched that hair bounce effortlessly with each step, swinging rhythmically and even more beautifully than her masses of strawberry-blond waves had 3 years earlier. I knew in about 2 years it was going to be incredibly hard to see that hair start to fall out, but it was inevitable, and made me really appreciate how it looked in the here and now.


I wasn’t sure if Beth would let it fall out or have me shave it again when that inevitable day did come, but whatever happened, it didn’t matter because we would be doing it together.




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