By Cait Collins
Impossible! Snow on the last day of April. Spring began in March. Temperatures had been in the 90’s and now snow covered the ground. Taylor stood at the picture window looking out over rolling grassland wondering if she would be able to keep her lunch and shopping appointment with her sister. They were meeting to plan an engagement party for her niece. Ashley would be the first of the nieces and nephews to get married, and like all other family traditions, the event would set the pattern for future engagement parties.
Taylor didn’t envy the couple. Marriage had been difficult in her day, but with all the social changes and more relaxed ideas about fidelity and till-death-do-us-part, marriage didn’t have the same commitment as her vows had. At least she and Mark had a brief but good life. He was taken too young by a fugitive from prison. Mark had been a good cop. He died seven years ago during an April snow.
She turned away from the window. She needed to leave her house by 11:15 to meet Carolyn at noon. What to wear? Her sister would be dressed to the nines, but City Girl didn’t have to drive in from the ranch. She didn’t need to clear the drive before leaving the house. Carolyn had a husband and a couple of teenage sons to do that for her. Taylor wasn’t so lucky. The ranch was hers alone. Sure she had a couple of hired hands but they cared for the stock and the land. One more good year and she could hire more help. Taylor brightened. Her life was good. She had friends and family. The ranch kept her busy. And there was the upcoming wedding. And she finally decided what to wear for her afternoon with her sister.
Returning home at twilight, Taylor wished she had left earlier. The morning snow had ended about the time she reached town. But it started again just before she and Carolyn had gone their separate ways. The roads were worse than earlier and she battled to keep the car on the road.
As she neared the turn to the ranch, her car began to lose traction. Unable to get the car under control, she found it impossible to make her turn. Instead of heading up the road, the vehicle was headed straight toward the rock wall that ended at the gate.
The impact threw Taylor from the car and head first into the wall. A hand reached down to her. “Hello, Sweetheart, I’ve been waiting for you.”
“Mark. I’ve missed you so much.”
The ranch hands found Taylor Compton early the next morning. The expression on her face was peaceful; not pained. A red rose was clutched in her left hand. Both men had mentioned the shadow that often kept watch at the gate. And while neither was fanciful, they both believed the lovers had been reunited in an April snow.