Raising the Bar

A Barthia Ficlet

DISCLAIMER: This story was made for no profit other than reviews. I do not own "100 Days to Heaven", kuha mo?

NOTE: My 101st entry and my second Barthia ficlet.

(And today is the Anniversary of the Peace of Westphalia. Not related but I just wanted to post something on a historically significant date. I'm such a geek, I know.)

This is the first time I've attempted to write in Taglish. It's a lot lighter than the previous one and the idea for this has been nagging me to be written ever since that Magic 8 Ball episode. I just can't help but imagine how hilarious it would be if Pido and Bart ever met.

Enjoy.

"Kumusta ka na, Pido?" Sophia cried excitedly when she saw an old friend come to visit her.

He had heard about her imprisonment and court case so he decided to drop by to see how she was doing.

"Heto, single pa rin," Pido said with a wink.

"Hay naku! Hanggang ngayon, palabiro ka pa rin!" Sophia said, laughing.

"Oo na, alam ko naman ang sasabihin mo," Pido replied in mock-sadness, "Hindi tayo talo. Kuha ko na yun."

"Huwag ka ngang ganyan, Pido," she reassured him, "sigurado akong makakahanap ka rin ng babaeng mamahalin."

"Well, mahirap na, dahil sa iyo, ang taas na kasi ng standards ko!" Pido teased, "wala ka kasing katulad!"

"Ano ka ba?" Sophia replied, blushing slightly, "tama na nga yang bola mo!"

"Sige na, seryoso na," Pido said, "Ang totoo kasi n'yan, inspired ako sa iyo. Dahil sa mga itinulong niyo sa 'kin at sa mga kapatid ko, mas tumaas ang tiwala ko sa sarili at mas nagsisikap na ako ngayong pagbutihin ang sarili ko."

"Maganda yan. Natutuwa ako na nagiging maayos na ang buhay mo," Sophia told him encouragingly.

"Eh, ikaw naman, kumusta ka na? Nabalitaan ko kasi yung nangyari sa 'yo at gusto ko lang i-check kung okay ka," Pido said in a more serious tone.

"Heto, gulong-gulo na isip ko, pagod na pagod na rin ako pero sinusubukan kong intindihin ang lahat," Sophia said sadly.

"Huwag kang mag-alala," Pido comforted her, "maraming mga taong sumusuporta sa iyo. Isa na ako don."

"Maraming salamat," she replied.

"Oo naman," he said, "katiting lang 'to sa laki ng utang na loob ko sa inyo ni Anna."

Pido noticed that Sophia's expression darkened a bit at the mention of her little sister's name but he didn't want to pry. Sophia seemed to have deeper problems than she let on.

"Huwag kang mag-alala," he repeated sincerely, "sigurado akong kayang-kaya mong malagpasan ang pagsubok na 'to. Ikaw pa!"

"Salamat ulit, ha," Sophia said with a smile, "maaasahan ka talaga pagdating sa pagpapangiti ng tao!"

Later, when Pido was about to leave, he bumped into a tall man who was just about to enter the house.

"Ay, sorry," Pido said.

"No problem," the other man replied with a smile.

It was then that Pido got a good look at the stranger. The former clown couldn't help but stare at the new arrival. He was in office attire and his shirt betrayed an impressive physique. He was also obviously well-to-do. His smile was genuine and he seemed like a decent fellow.

And he was also undeniably handsome. Even Pido couldn't help but admire him.

All of a sudden, the comedian felt very self-conscious and inadequate.

He also began to wonder how this man was related to Sophia, though he already had a sneaking suspicion.

"Kaibigan ka rin ni Sophia?" the other man asked in a friendly tone.

"Ah, oo," Pido said cheerfully, "ako si Pido. Pido Abucay, at your service."

The other man shook his hand.

"Nice to meet you," he said, "I'm Bart Ramirez."

Pido's eyes grew as wide as saucers as his suspicions were confirmed.

"Ah, BARRRRt," Pido repeated in awe.

"Okay ka lang?" Bart asked, growing uneasy under the other man's gaze.

"Ah, oo," Pido answered distractedly, "nice to meet you too, BARRRRt."

Bart raised an eyebrow.

"Ay, huwag mo akong pansinin," Pido said, recovering from some slight embarrassment, "ganyan talaga ako kapag may bagong nakakilala. Inuulit-ulit ko yung pangalan. BARRRt. Ayan oh. BARRRt."

"Ah, okay," Bart said though he wasn't quite convinced.

"Sige, mauna na ako," Pido said quickly, trying to dissipate the awkwardness.

Bart nodded and waved good-bye, sighing with relief. That meeting was becoming really weird.

"Ay, oo nga pala," Pido said, turning around and speaking in a more serious tone, "gusto ko lang sabihin sa iyo na 'congratulations'."

"Ha? Para saan?" Bart asked in puzzlement.

"Alam mo na siguro 'yan," Pido replied gravely, "napakaswete mo kay Sophia. Walang ibang katulad niya."

Bart looked at him in surprise before smiling and nodding.

"Alam ko," he replied earnestly, "at hinding-hindi ko kakalimutan 'yon. You're right. I am really, really lucky. So I'm going to do everything I can to deserve her."

"Siguraduhin mo lang 'yan," Pido warned, "kasi kung hindi ka mag-iingat, BARRRt, baka biglang maagaw ko siya sa 'yo!"

Before Bart could react, Pido quickly said, "Joke lang!" and walked away as fast as he could. Bart was taller and more muscular than he was and he didn't want to risk getting beaten up. Not that Bart would have done that but Pido didn't want to take any chances.

Bart watched in amusement as the funny man left.

He was also sure he heard Pido muttering something like "wala naman pala akong laban doon" and "bilib rin ako kay Sophia pumili, ang taas masyado ng standards …hindi ko ma-reach, grabe!"

"I just met your friend Pido outside," Bart announced to Sophia as he entered the house.

"Ah, talaga?" Sophia replied, "mabait 'yon. He just dropped by to say 'hello' and to show his support. Natuwa naman ako."

"Well, he does seem like a nice guy," Bart remarked, "although he was acting a bit strange."

"Like how?" Sophia asked curiously.

"Well, he kept saying my name in a really weird way," Bart explained, "he kept focusing on the first three letters…he practically called me 'Bar' several times."

Sophia laughed at this for a moment before falling silent when she realized what it meant. She suddenly remembered the amazing accuracy of Pido's Magic 8 Ball.

A whole bunch of embarrassing memories abruptly came to mind. She shook her head to try and banish them but it was already too late.

Bart didn't immediately notice the change in Sophia's mood, so engrossed was he in wondering about Pido's peculiar behavior.

"It was really awkward," he continued, "do you know what that was all about?"

"Ah, ewan ko ba diyan kay Pido, maraming patawa," Sophia answered quickly, eager to change the subject, "wala yun, wala lang yun."

"Really?" Bart asked suspiciously, "so why are you blushing?"