I glanced over at her and gave her a grin. "I won't," I said. Her hand was already in mine.
The tour guide had let us know that up ahead we would stop. We were Lord knows how deep inside the cavern, and they were going to shut off the lights. And here she was about to collide with anxiety.
The group bunched up, and the guide told everyone to close their eyes.
"Promise me," she whispered, closing her eyes.
I turned to face her and grabbed both of her hands. "Promise."
Then off went the lights.
Her grip tightened immediately when the guide said we could open our eyes. The cavern was as dark as pitch. There was nothing to be seen. I leaned into her and rested my forehead on hers. In that moment no one else was there. I rubbed my nose on her cheek and leaned close to her ear. "I'm right here," I whispered. I heard her exhale. I felt her tears fall onto my face. My lips found her cheek, beside the corner of her eye. I gave her a light kiss to wipe them away. "So brave," I said in honest admiration.
Then the guide instructed us to close our eyes again as she brought up the lights. And moment was over. The lights came up and I watched as she opened her eyes again. This time accomplishment and relief shined in her eyes instead of fear. A slight smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.
"I promised," I said.
"I know," she replied.
She pressed up to her tiptoes, and kissed me.