Snow Angel   Leave a comment

Ian was used to driving in bad weather, after all this was Scotland. He was an experienced driver as he had been a travelling salesman for many years. But today even he felt nervous as he crawled along the road.  It had been snowing heavily and the icy roads were treacherous. Ian was finding it difficult to steer the car as he hit one icy patch after the other. Normally he would have pulled in somewhere and stayed over-night; but he was determined to get home for his daughter’s birthday. Celeste was coming of age and it was a significant moment in her life.

Celeste had been born after Ian’s wife Fiona had had three miscarriages. So her birth although difficult, had been a blessing.  But Ian and Fiona’s joy soon turned to worry when they had been told that Celeste had Cerebral Palsy.  They vowed they would devote their lives to achieving the best life possible for their ‘little angel’. Every year of her life had been celebrated with a sense of achievement and deep gratitude.

“Thank you so much for picking me up.”

Ian jumped. Damn, I forgot she was there.

“No problem. I couldn’t leave you there in this weather.”

The girl had stood bedraggled on the side of the road. She was about Celeste’s age with long honey-blonde hair. Ian had felt responsible for her. He couldn’t have passed her by. She had told him she was going to Ballydune too, and that her name was Catriona.

“I’ve a daughter about the same age as you. Her name is Celeste. It’s her 18th birthday today, so I have to get back for it.”

“I know Celeste, she’s a lovely girl.”

“How do you know her?”

“Oh from around, you know.”

Ian didn’t know. He knew that Celeste had attended a Special School, and relied on him and his wife Fiona for most of her social life. Wherever Celeste was, there they were. Ian said nothing.

“Where will I drop you in Ballydune? Would I know your family?

“Oh just drop me in the square. I’ll call someone to pick me up, as they live out of town. I’m Morell…Catriona Morell.”

Ian wasn’t familiar with the name. He drove on in silence. It was very difficult to see anything now. The windscreen kept fogging up and Ian was finding it difficult to peer through the windscreen. Suddenly he saw the car in front… he hadn’t seen it as the tail-lights were broken… too late. Ian’s car slammed into the other car.

“Don’t worry, you’ll get home to Celeste.”

Catriona’s voice came from afar like a tinkling wind-chime in the breeze.

“D-a-d… D-a-d… wake… up!” Celeste articulated with great effort. Ian forced himself to open his eyes. His body throbbed with pain.

“Oh thank God!” Fiona burst into tears.

“What happened?” Ian struggled to ask.

“You’ve been in a car accident. It was a miracle you survived.” Fiona said gently.

“Happy Birthday Celeste… sorry if I’ve spoiled it.” Ian stretched out for Celeste’s hand.

“L-ove you D-a-d.”

Ian tried to remember what had happened. Catriona, what had happened to Catriona?

“Is Catriona alright?”

“Who’s Catriona? Fiona queried. “You were the only one in the car,”

“Ang-el” Celeste uttered.

“Yes, you’re our little angel.” Ian patted his daughter’s hand. Fiona looked from one to the other.

“Something or someone brought you home to us,” she said quietly.

Posted October 1, 2015 by eileenmoynihan in Uncategorized

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