Henry and Barby are neighbors, classmates, and more. Barby's family is affluent and well-to-do, while Henry's family leads a simple life on a small income. Feelings of ambivalence pervade young Henry's adolescence as he becomes involved with both Barby and her sister. Brandy, Barby's older sister, seduces Henry, and their secret sexual escapades entrap them in a love they try to ignore. As Henry struggles to endure the love of two sisters, college and careers carry them into adulthood. Then tragedy strikes, and the two families unite as they try to hold on to some kind of normalcy. These were the innocent years. The two teenagers sat and talked while warming themselves. "Henry, I hate you." Henry looked at Barby bewildered." What did I do now?" Barby reached out and pulled his hair over his head covering his face. "Your hair looks nicer than mine. I refuse to associate with a boy who has hair like that. It's bad enough that it's longer but it looks nicer too!" He looked at her rolling his eyes back and forth. "So wash it once in a while." She slapped him across his shoulder with her open palm. "Ouch," she said. "Now you are trying to hurt me." Her face broke into a repressed grin. "Barby, you hit me, 1 didn't hit you." She pouted now, sticking out her bottom lip. "Do you think I'm pretty?" Henry put his hands over his face hiding his response. "I think Brandy is pretty," he said in a low voice-almost a whisper.