Balanced on the line, he told her again, "Put it down!"
"Why?" She replied.
"Just do it," he said. Both of his arms were held out, his delicate fingers rigid, there was a blue tinge descending on his normally raspberry red lips.
"Just tell me, why," she repeated. She held it gently in her hands, loose fingers, loose wrists, around waist level. She held it as if it held even less importance to her than the stock she put upon his commands.
"Why can't you just do something because I've said so?" he said, and the chill in blood became evident in the way his teeth chattered and the way the blue had now spread to his cheeks.
She looked at his cheeks, and the lick of blonde hair falling over his forehead, and she thought of the countless moles dotting his back and his belly, some of them she'd kissed. She remembered how cold his arm was pressed against her cheek, waking up was always a cold thing. She'd trusted everything when he'd told her to do it initially, she'd given....
"I won't anymore," she replied, and she lifted it. "I won't put this down because you've told me to."
"I will fall if you don't," he said, "Please, just for the last time, have faith in what I tell you. Just do it now. Put it down."
"The longer I hold this box, the colder you get?" she asked.
"Isn't it obvious, my love?" he said.
Indeed she did see the blue had now mottled his flesh and inked out the outlines of his veins and he would freeze as he stood on that line. Solid. Snap. Fall. Shatter.
She held it at eye level.
"I told you to put my heart down, once," she said.
"And you never did," she replied. "And I emptied. I think my heart is in this box. And I wont give it back this time."