Junior high school sweethearts Steve and Serena are parted at fourteen when Steve's family moves away. By the time fate reunites them Serena has been married twice, and is now widowed. Steve owns a five-star restaurant, and his wife is in a nursing home suffering from early Alzheimer's.
When a bus accident in south Jersey brings Serena to Steve's restaurant seeking a job, both sense an instant attraction - but their names have changed, and they don't recognize each other. After Steve's wife succumbs to pneumonia, the sexy hostess at his restaurant is ready and eager to replace her. Jealous of the growing friendship between Steve and Serena, the hostess tries twice to eliminate the woman she sees as her rival.
The friends rediscover their teenage relationship at last and become lovers, but Steve's daughter, still grieving the loss of her mother, expresses violent disapproval of their plans to marry. Unwilling to make him choose between them, Serena decides to remove herself from contention and becomes a fugitive for the second time. Steve's efforts to find her take him to Sacramento, California and back to Brooklyn, New York, where it all began.