The headlights catch a flash of white and I slam on the brakes, skidding ten feet before coming to a stop along the side of the road. Through the falling snow, I can barely make out a figure lying behind the guardrail.
"Are you all right?" I call out. As I draw closer I see that it's a woman, lying naked. Her skin is pale, except for the pink blush of her nipples, and platinum hair is splayed beneath her head. It is hard to tell where she and the snow separate.
I gaze upon her for a moment with awe then I approach slowly, still unsteady from too much alcohol. "Are you all right?" I ask again.
She opens her eyes. "I could ask the same of you." Her voice is the wind, a sweet sound carried to my ears and seeming to echo in my thoughts. I collapse to my knees before her.
"What do you mean?"
"You're drunk," she says. "Troubled."
She's right, and I find I can't lie to her. "What--who are you?" She smiles at me. Suddenly embarrassed that I have been staring, I break eye contact and notice shapes in the snow around her. "Snow angels," I say. There are dozens of them in the field of snow, everywhere I look. "Did you make these?" Then I have a thought--an irrational one. "Are you... are you a snow angel?"
She laughs, but she isn't laughing at me. She's happy that I have discovered her nature. Her happiness is contagious--I smile back at her.
She reaches out a hand to me and I crawl towards her. She starts to undress me--first removing my jacket, then my scarf. I protest but she continues to work on unbuttoning my shirt.
When I am naked and shivering, sobered by the cold, she envelops me in her arms and soon I stop shivering. She gestures and I lie beside her in the snow. I feel the snow as a pleasant tickling sensation against my bare skin.
"My girlfriend. She broke up with me tonight. She says she found God. Did you ever hear anything so ridiculous?" I steal a glance at her then I realize that I'm speaking to an angel. "Maybe it's not so ridiculous."
"We must all find our own paths."
"I thought we were on the same path. I thought we would spend our lives together, but there's no room for me in hers anymore. Without her, I don't know what's left of me."
"You miss her."
"I love her." I start crying again. I try to wipe the tears away before they can freeze, but she stays my hand.
"And you're angry."
"She hurt me."
"Would you like me to smite her?"
I prop myself up on an arm and twist to face her. "Could you do that?"
She shakes her head. "Not really. No. But would you want me to if I could?"
"No. No, of course not. I want her to be happy."
"That is good. She didn't hurt you as much as you're hurting yourself."
"What do you mean by that?"
"You know what I mean. I wouldn’t be here if you didn't. You have to let go."
"I know. I can't."
"I can help you. Close your eyes." I do, and a sudden stillness and peace overwhelms me.
"Now...stretch out your arms on either end. Good. And spread your legs. Good. Now, make a snow angel."
I open my eyes. "What?"
"Just do it."
I comply and I keep waving my arms and scissoring my legs until suddenly I realize that I am getting sleepy. Just before I lose consciousness, I feel her cool, dry lips pressed against mine.
I wake up with a splitting headache. I'm dressed, but I'm still freezing. The snow has piled up around me, covered me, and the snow angel is gone. I look around and all the angel shapes are gone beneath freshly fallen snow--if they were ever there. I stand and brush myself off. There is only one snow angel left, where I had been lying. But as I stare at it, I see that it's too small to have been made by me.
I get back into my car and shake snow out of my damp hair. I feel different--lighter. Something has been lifted from me.
I pour the rest of my whiskey out of the window and start the car, ready to find my own path. I'm going home to an empty apartment, but I don't feel quite so alone anymore.