Life in 1950s Pittsburgh is slow and unsatisfying, at least for Jeremiah Henderson and his woman, Willet Mercer. So while the other locals sit and wait on their back-alley porches, the couple plan their escape to New York City. Poverty stricken, Willet is forced to consider prostitution to fund their new life, but at the last minute she baulks and stabs the pimp, Tommy, to death. Aided by Tommy's money and a fancy Buick, it seems they may be in sight of their dreams; but they just have to make one last stop outside Wilmington, North Carolina, to see the little boy Willet abandoned long ago . . .