Fifteen years ago, my husband and I met at a park near the public transportation terminal. Since we were both tired and hungry, we went inside a diner and ordered chicken and rice.
When we were seated, we saw three boys entered. From the looks of them, they practically lived on the streets. In the tallest boy’s palm were a heap of coins. It took them a long time to decide what to order and finally settled for two cups of rice and a piece of chicken. They thanked the crew who gave them their order and they took the table right beside ours.
They broke the warm chicken into small pieces and took turns with the spoon and fork. They were halfway with their meal when I asked my husband if we could give my rice to the boys so they could eat more. But then I saw a neatly dressed guy who left his friends in their table and got another order of the same meal the boys were eating and served it to them.
The boys were speechless at first. Then, they found their voices and thanked the guy in unison. This time, they ate with gusto and even joked between mouthfuls. Though they came in last, they were still the first to finish eating.
When they were done with their food, they tucked the chairs and went over to the ‘nice guy’ and thanked him again. The guy just nodded and told them to ‘take care.’ Then, they left the diner obviously full and happy. I looked at the retreating figures of the boys and the serene face of the nice guy and realized how a cup of rice and a leg of fried chicken can make a difference.