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He looked bad. He looked sick – he must have lost twenty pounds, maybe more, and he hadn't been heavy to begin with. And the way he walked – slowly, hesitantly, like he had to concentrate to do it. But I guess he cared enough about this to do it anyway, and that put some guilt into me for feeling sorry for myself, so I abandoned the rant I'd planned to unload on him and just took the box without asking questions.
I spent the next few days on the road, listening to books on tape and watching the country pass. I didn't let it out of my sight, just like he'd said. I ate in my car or in my hotel room, slept with the box sitting on the ground next to the bed. It felt kind of silly, but I knew there was a good reason for anything the physicist said, even if I didn't know what it was.
It took me three days to get to Frederick. I didn't have any trouble finding the storage unit. And then I did a bad thing.