With each stroke of the knife, I knew he loved me.

It started with my nipples, him telling me how much he loved me and how sexy I would look without them. He touched my face as he did it, cooing and kissing my forehead and telling me how much he loved me. He kissed away every one of my tears and held me within his powerful arms as I bled.

For six weeks there was no mention of knives. My heart leapt every time he looked at me, a joy and longing in his eyes. The six weeks after I gave up my nipples were quite possibly the happiest of my entire life.

But the seventh and eighth and ninth passed, and he grew distant, moody. He would spend nights away from the house and return drunken and grumbling. One night, I asked what was wrong, and what I could do to help him.

And so the knives came out again.

He shaved my head, including my eyebrows that night. Soon after, all of my hair from my body was removed through his amateur electrolysis. He took off my nose with one clean slice and, using a device I didn’t recognize, sealed up the wound and made it smooth to the touch, as if nothing had ever been there. I could only breathe through my mouth, and told him so, panicking. He just smiled, kissed the smoothness in the center of my face, and told me I was beautiful.

My toes and fingers took nearly two months, one joint at a time. He took similar relish with each of my teeth. He said he was sad when he went for my crotch, but I saw how happy his eyes were and how his hands shook with arousal as he smoothed out my groin.

He used that same device to seal off my sockets after he cut out my eyes. He also used it to fuse my ass cheeks, and later, my mouth leaving only a small hole in each case. I heard him laugh and tell me how sexy I looked. He kissed me all over, and made jokes about how easy it would now be to confuse my two ends. He sounded so happy.

One night—or what I assumed was night, at the very least—he drew a heart on my smooth chest with his finger. He told me it meant “I love you.” Then he cut off my ears.

Between long stretches of nothing, I would suck vitamin-enriched water from a straw he would press against lips and feel his strong fingers all over what was left of my naked body. I was too weak to react physically, but I reveled in his touch and the way traced that heart on my chest over and over. My life was spent this way, waiting for these moments.

It is difficult to love a being from another planet, but there are sacrifices to be made in every relationship. And now my alien lover will never leave me.