When insurance salesman John Nolan enters a liquor store to return a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, the new sales clerk, ex-con Auggie Rose, goes into the back room to get him a new one. As Rose emerges, a robber shoots him in the stomach. With his dying breath, the clerk tells Nolan his name and in an instant Nolan's comfortable life is forever changed. Plunged into guilt over feeling responsible for Rose's death, Nolan feels compelled to find out all he can about Rose. When Nolan visits Rose's run-down, one room apartment in Hollywood, he finds a cache of letters under his mattress from a female pen pal named Lucy, who is due to arrive from her small town on a Greyhound bus, When Nolan decides to meet her to prepare her for the news of Rose's murder, he is surprised at how young, attractive and affectionate Lucy is.