Buffalo ? It is snowing hard as Billy Brown is released from jail after serving a five-year sentence. A troubled young man who struggles to maintain his grip on sanity, he is prone to violence and hates to be touched. When he calls his folks from a pay phone outside a dance studio, he tells them he has returned from his “very important job” in DC. They have no idea he has spent the last five years in jail and ask when they will have the pleasure of meeting his lovely bride which he has been bragging to them about in his letters. As he struggles to come up with an excuse to avoid seeing them, he notices Layla, a young dancer stretching in the hallway. His twisted mind goes to work and in a flash he grabs Layla and forces her into his car. He threatens to kill the poor girl unless she agrees to pose as his wife, “Wendy”, during a visit to his parents. Frightened for her life, but also intrigued by this odd stranger, Layla agrees to go along with the ruse.
Jan and Vincent Brown are considerably less than ideal parents. Totally obsessed with her favourite sports team, the eccentric Jan barely pays her son any attention. And Billy’s father, Vincent, who is a cruel man will do anything to keep his son down. Both parents however, are instantly charmed by Billy’s “wife” who takes the role and quickly transforms herself from hostage to member of the family. While the Browns lavish attention and praise on Layla, Billy slips out to enlist the help of his mentally challenged friend Goon in a little revenge plan. It turns out Billy lost a lot of money in a sports bet and wound up selling drugs for the Mob when he was picked up by the cops. He blames his misfortune on Scotty Woods, the athlete who lost the crucial game, and now Billy wants to kill the unsuspecting man. Goon tells him that Woods now runs a strip joint on the edge of town. After retrieving his gun from a secret locker in a nearby bowling alley where he was a local legend, Billy tells Layla she is free to go now. But Layla has come to understand the source of Billy’s troubles. An orphan herself, she knows how devastating the lack of good parenting can be. She likes Billy and having no real life of her own, she wants to stay with him. The two retire to a motel room while Billy plans to murder Woods the next day. But Layla has more than friendship on her mind and with some effort convinces a reluctant Billy to take a bath with her. In a touching moment of unsuspected tenderness, the two lost souls find companionship in each other’s arms and spend an innocent and peaceful night together. When the big day arrives, Billy tells Layla he is just going out for a cup of coffee. But Layla can read between the lines. She knows she may never see him again. When Billy does find Woods in his strip joint, he is taken by the washed-up athlete’s sad demeanour. Here is a man after all who, much like himself, lost everything in one fleeting moment. With the loaded gun in his hand, Billy realizes that, now more than ever, he truly has something to lose. He leaves Woods to his own sadness and returns to the motel room where a young woman who loves him awaits his arrival.