He has a new friend. Well, actually, she’s an old friend, but they have a new relationship.
It’s still very tentative, neither of them are certain how it is going to go. In public they are beginning to talk about their ‘developing friendship’.
They are walking together in a country park on a still beautiful December afternoon. They are talking a lot and enjoying one another’s company.
They arrive at a spot above a bend in the small river that flows through the park. They stand a respectable distance apart, looking down on the river and drinking in the view.
Suddenly, and without warning time stands completely still. The air between them seems to be filled with crackling blue sparks and their awareness of each other becomes intense.
The moment ends. They almost flee back to the normality of the car park and the safety of the car. They talk about what they both felt and agree some boundaries for their suddenly much more developed feelings for each other.
Later, when he is alone, the man realises that it this is another Christmas Eve, but this time not one of painful revelation but one of new hope.