Campbell, Louis H

Author: Louis H Campbell
Publisher: Self Published
ISBN: 978-1482370881
Copyright: February 2013
Pages: 48

Blema's life was coming apart! Why did all this have to happen to her, especially now? The rain from the typhoon was falling heavily in the warm black night and as the sheets of water cascaded off the corrugated metal portico of the Sari Sari, she could think of only one thing -- she had to get home to her grandmother Lola. Her job, her boss, her so-called step mother, her apartment in Pasig City -- everything seemed to be caving in on her. Emotion piled upon emotion until she fought back a sob in her throat and felt the hot tears pushing up into her eyes. The bus was late headed for Olangapo? Lola would be worried as usual. Ever since her mother died and her father remarried, she had chosen to live with Lola, her mother's mother. Like any grandmother she was over-protective of her only grand-daughter even though she had passed her twenty-second birthday. The traffic headed into Manila from out on the Bataan Peninsula is unusually light. It isn't until she has an encounter with an American who is obviously out of his element that she decides to take a Jeepney. Her fateful discovery, -- that the entire town of Mabalacat, Pampanga, where her semi-invalid grandmother lives, has just been inundated in Lahar -- causes her to vent her wrath and frustration on the nearest individual. It happens to be the American tourist, Alan Fairbanks. He listens compassionately as her life unfolds before him. Her complaints to God about her condition, her plight, the mounting problems that are drowning her in self-pity are each attentively turned to moments of exhortation and love from another Christian who, Blema learns, has himself suffered even greater loss. She learns that his visit to Luzon at this inopportune time is a pilgrimage of sorts, fulfilling a promise to his father to visit the site of his uncle's ultimate sacrifice on Bataan during the Second World War. Alan's own parents have both gone on to glory and a recent violent earthquake in Los Angeles took the life of his own grandmother. The coincidences astound them both. Through this unlikely friendship, Blema manages to emerge at peace with herself and with those around her who have suffered under her self-righteousness. Blema and Alan part as good friends, each having helped the other.