Ryan Kelly had just placed his order inside Tam's Burgers, a popular fast-food outlet in La Mirada, Calif., when he noticed his best friend, Derrick Williams, was not standing in line behind him.
Kelly and Williams, freshmen at La Mirada High School, had made plans earlier in the day to go to Tam's after their last class, so they hurried down Adelfa Drive and Santa Gertrudes Avenue to enjoy one of their favorite burgers.
"I could see it in his eyes as we were walking that he was anxious to get there," Kelly said of Williams.
That's why Kelly was surprised when he turned around and didn't see Williams in line. He knew Williams was hungry and couldn't wait to spend the "$7 and change" Williams said he had in his pocket. Kelly looked toward a window in Tam's and saw why Williams hadn't come inside.
Williams had stopped to talk to a homeless man seated outside near the door. The man was holding a sign asking for money to buy a meal. Kelly saw Williams reach into his pocket and give the man the $7 and change he had intended to use for his burger meal.
"At that moment, I realized Derrick was a quality guy," Kelly said. "Back then, $7 was like a hundred, especially when you weren't working."
Williams put his appetite on hold and told Kelly he would eat at home. He sat with Kelly in the restaurant and watched him eat.
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