Him. I distinctly remember him telling me, half-jokingly, that he would not eat in that restaurant because he was a “poor international student”.

Her. She was middle-aged, obese, loud, clumsy, and not very pleasant.

Him. He bought a new $90 pair of Adidas sneakers for her, because she said her feet hurt. And he topped it up with pink shoelaces as well, because it was her favourite colour.

He could have given her an old pair of shoes, but he actually cared enough to buy her a good pair, in the colour she loved. And honestly, shoes or no shoes, it wouldn’t affect his life at all. No enriching experience gained from volunteering with an organization, no extra credential gained on his CV. Just her.

Her. A struggling woman. Someone who would probably just go unnoticed and ignored otherwise. Now tasting the sweetness of love.