He got out of his car and walked to the front of the house. He was not happy about the meeting. He did not think he could talk her round. He liked her very much. He knew she liked him. But she seemed too determined to build on this land and he was too determined to prevent that.

She was standing on the lawn. As he approached he could see her nervousness, but also her determination.  They exchanged a kiss.

“Will you withdraw the application?”

“Will you withdraw your opposition?”

It was then, at that very point, that one of them should have laughed. Better if they had both laughed.  But neither did. Instead, somehow, there was the sound of a relationship breaking.

He turned and walked away. He felt his eyes wet. He turned once to look back. She had not moved. There was something in her face he could not read at that distance.  Something – and tears.