Middle-aged Donna Germaine is riding a Pathways coach bus from Kansas City, MO to live temporarily with her aunt Grace Palmer, a travel agent. A passenger sitting next to her on the bus asks her if she's ever been married before. Donna replies that she hasn't. The passenger advises that she never get married as you are guaranteed to never live happily ever after. Donna has a flashback from when her former lover, a married man, promised her he would leave his wife, Carly, to be with her. About a month later, he tells Donna his decision to remain married to Carly for the sake of his career, reputation, and children. Despite the fact, he still had sex with Donna during this time and kept telling her that he loved her. Enraged and emotionally shattered, Donna stabs him in the stomach with a kitchen knife.
Not long after, the bus arrives at the transportation center. Donna is reunited with Grace for the first time in nearly 20 years.
On the drive to Grace's home, Donna tells Grace about her affair with a married man. She also discusses how these last 6 months have been grueling for her. For example, she lost her job, fell behind on her bills, and couldn't make her car payments. Donna sees this as a fresh, new start to rebuild and get back on track again. She goes on to promise Grace that she is only staying temporarily.
Before going home, Grace stops in front of the Costigans' home--her neighbors. Grace introduces Donna to wife Jeannie and daughter Trish. Jeannie cuts the conversation short as her and Trish have somewhere they need to be, but promises to see them tomorrow. The pairs say their goodbyes before parting ways.
Grace pulls into the driveway of her own home and tells Donna about Jeannie's husband William. Only that he is smart, charming, and handsome. Jeannie had invited the two of them to their yearly barbecue where Donna will meet William (who is currently at work). The barbecue is known to be a big hit in the neighborhood.
They enter Grace's home where Donna is in awe to notice her late mother's furniture in the living room. Grace admits that she inherited it after her sister had passed away, though always felt guilty about keeping it. Donna shows particular interest in a Victorian parlor chair that belonged to her father. Donna expresses her resentment towards her parents' divorce and the blame she puts on her mother for driving her father away. Grace comes to her sister's defense, countering that there are two sides to that story. Donna angrily snaps at Grace that she doesn't know anything because she wasn't there. Donna suddenly apologizes, justifying her outburst for being overwhelmed by seeing all this furniture from her childhood.
A telephone from Grace's office begins ringing and she leaves to go answer it. Donna has a flashback from when her father gave her a music box when she was 8-years-old, and the last goodbye to her father before he moved out of the house. Grace calls Donna into her office.
Grace tells Donna that she's been running her travel agency out of her office for the past few years. She's recently been arranging a series of Caribbean cruises as prizes for a contest that the town's local television station, WGBC-TV, is holding. William works at the station as General Manager. Donna notices her mother's old secretary and recalls being allowed to do her homework there sometimes as a child. She proceeds to open a drawer to show where her pens and pencils use to be, when she uncovers a gun. Grace says that she bought the gun the same time she moved into the house. She says the neighbors advised her to keep one because she was a single woman living alone. Grace admits that she hasn't touched it since she got it because it scares her. She then notices the time on her wristwatch and leaves to make dinner.
Later that night during dinner, Grace tells Donna that she's utilizing her connections to help secure Donna a job. Donna suddenly yawns and Grace dismisses her to bed, promising that she'll take care of the dishes. Donna thanks Grace for taking her in before kissing Grace goodnight and retreating upstairs to the guest bedroom.
Donna enters her bedroom and looks out the window and across the street to find William returning home from work and going inside his house.
Meanwhile, at the Costigan home, Jeannie tells William about Trish's new piano teacher and Trish's intent on mastering a new song on the piano, as the two are preparing to go to bed. William appears to be disinterested, and instead, discusses how he invited a few co-workers from the station to the barbecue. Jeannie seems to be upset with William for not listening and apologizes to him for being tense. William admits he shares a mutual feeling as he is undergoing major stress at work. Jeannie remains disappointed that William seems to be more engrossed in his own job than his family.
Back at the Palmer house, Donna suffers from a nightmare in which she is dragging her deceased lover's corpse through the darkness, all the while murmuring that he never loved her and lied when he told her that he did.
The following day, Grace and Donna arrive at the Costigan's barbecue, where they are greeted by Jeannie. She subsequently invites the two to get some food which William is cooking on the grill. Grace notices an attractive, young woman conversing with William and asks about her. Jeannie says that her name is Ashley and she is the new head of programming at WGBC-TV. Donna, on the other hand, notices William and falls in love with him at first sight.
Jeannie introduces Donna to William before William asks Donna what she would like to eat. Donna responds that she would be fine with a hamburger while William gives Grace a slab of ribs. Ashley comes by and makes small talk with Jeannie before Trish asks Donna what she does for a living. Donna wittingly replies, "This and that," before asking Trish the same question. Trish replies that she goes to school before inviting Donna upstairs to her bedroom to see her doll collection. William jokes that no one gets out alive without seeing Trish's doll collection and Donna agrees to see it.
While Donna and Trish are role playing with Trish's dolls, Donna looks out the bedroom window and stares longingly at William who is chatting with a co-worker, unaware he is being watched.
Donna asks Trish if she is thirsty to make an excuse to go downstairs. While Trish rattles off a list of beverages in the refrigerator, Donna stares lustfully at William who is with Ashley. Donna grabs a champagne glass, fills it up with tap water, dumps it, and purposefully shatters it against the wall of the kitchen sink before picking up one of the shards of glass and slicing her wrist with it. She immediately instructs Trish to get William afterwards.
William, a former lifeguard, wraps a bandage around Donna's wrist. Jeannie jokes that Donna will get her bill in the morning. Donna thanks William before her and Grace return back to Grace's home.
At the Palmer home, Donna announces that she likes William and Jeannie. She proceeds to ask Grace about Ashley whom Jeannie seemed bothered by. Grace reveals that William and Jeannie ran into some marital complications 5 years ago. Rumor has it that William had an extra-marital affair with another woman and Jeannie threatened to divorce him and leave with Trish. However, they are still married, so they must have worked it out. Grace concludes that she is going to lie down upstairs for a few minutes as she drank too much at the party.
In the meantime, Donna sneaks into Grace's office and runs a Seek-N-Click search on her computer for "WGBC-TV." She goes to the home page of the Channel 19 website and clicks on a hyperlink for the page of General Manager, William Costigan. She is led to a page that displays a picture of William. Donna immediately prints the color photo of him.
Grace calls for Donna and Donna exits out of the window she was looking at. She gets up and stands in front of the printer just as Grace enters the office. Grace tells her that she just got off the phone with a business pal who works in consolidated insurance. Grace had made an appointment for Donna to meet him for 2:00 PM tomorrow. Donna thanks Grace for setting up the interview before Grace leaves. Donna takes the photo of William and holds it up against her chest.
At the Costigan home, Jeannie is getting Trish ready for bed. Trish wishes for Donna to live with Grace as she has grown to like her a lot. Trish then asks her mother if she likes Ashley due to the fact that when Ashley is around, she notices Jeannie doesn't smile. Jeannie denies this, claiming she doesn't know Ashley that well, only that, according to William, she is a big help at the station. Trish doesn't believe her mom when she says that she smiles, knowing Jeanie is just trying to be civil. Jeanie relents and promises to "smile her most dazzling smile" when Ashley is around. Jeanie and Trish then give each other cheesy smiles and share a laugh.
In the middle of the night, Donna continues to suffer from nightmares involving her dead ex-lover. She dreams she is digging his grave, all the while muttering that he never loved her. As she attempts to push his plastic-wrapped body in, he awakens and says her name. This prompts Donna to scream, waking her up. She looks at her bandaged wrist, reminding her of William. She takes the photo of William, sitting next to her on the nightstand, and gently touches it, telling 'him' that everything will/. be alright this time, before holding it to her chest.
The next morning, Jeanie is doing yoga in her bedroom when she receives a call on her cell phone from a woman asking if it is Jeanie. At Grace's home, Donna is staring out the window at the Costigan's home, when the phone suddenly rings downstairs. She hears Grace answer it. Donna overhears from the top of the stairs, that Jeanie had received a call from the editor-in-chief of Women's Way magazine who is interested in holding a job interview with Jeanie in New York. Jeanie wanted to know if Grace could babysit Trish. Grace agrees and Jeanie thanks her before hanging up.
Later, Donna preps for her interview before Grace walks in and compliments her on her professional attire. She proceeds to give Donna the address and direction's to interviewer Lisa's, office. Grace even offers for Donna to join her and Trish for dinner and a movie that night, until William returns home, noting that she makes killer popcorn. Donna accepts and shakes Grace's hand. Grace shows her to the door and Donna leaves for her interview.
Donna enters her car and looks at the paper Grace gave her detailing the address and directions to Lisa's office. Donna learns that the position is for a secretary at an insurance company--something she isn't interested in. Donna sardonically thanks her aunt before crumpling up the paper, throwing it on the floor, and pulling out of the driveway.
Instead of going to the interview, Donna drives to and parks in front of the Channel 19 WGBC-TV building and watches the door from her car. Donna tells herself that she could do Ashley's job before driving away. Donna drives downtown to pick up some prescribed medication and an iced tea before returning home.
She enters the kitchen and looks out the window to find Grace doing some gardening and drinking the same iced tea that Donna had brought home. Donna mutters under breath that Grace's beverage choice was "so predictable" before she pours out half the bottle of iced tea in the sink. She pours some of the medication in the bottle and shakes it up, apologizing in advance to her Grace.
Donna meets Grace outside, informing her that the "interview" went well. She lies to Grace and says that Lisa didn't have a current position, but Donna will call her tomorrow to follow up. Donna then distracts Grace by inquiring about some of her flowers. Grace, turns around and rambles on about the flowers while Donna switches the bottles of iced tea. Grace turns back around and hands Donna a mum before taking a swig of iced tea.
Later on, Donna is trying to decide which outfit she should wear when she goes to babysit Trish. She is interrupted by a knock at her bedroom door by a sick Grace. Grace isn't sure if she has the flu or food poisoning but will not be able to babysit Trish and asks if Donna can. Donna promises Grace that she will.
At the Costigan home, Donna tucks Trish in for the night when Trish refers to Donna as her 'aunt.' Donna strokes her hair before turning off the light on the nightstand and quietly shutting the bedroom door behind her. Donna walks into William and Jeanie's bedroom where she begins to look around, admiring the furniture. She lovingly strokes the bureau dresser before opening it and looking through and smelling William's clothes.
Meanwhile, Grace is working in her office, when she calls Lisa, inquiring about Donna's job interview earlier that morning. Lisa says that Donna was scheduled for an interview at 10:00 AM, however she never showed. Grace replies that she doesn't understand as Donna had told her she had a good meeting. Lisa doesn't know what Donna is talking about, considering the fact that she never stepped foot in the office. While browsing online, Grace looks at the Seek-N-Click saved searches and discovers five results for WGBC-TV information. Concerned, she asks to call Lisa back, to which Lisa is fine with before hanging up. Grace is especially confused when she finds a particular search item for the general manager of WGBC-TV.
At the same time, Donna lies on and strokes William and Jeanie's bed. She lays a framed photograph of Jeanie, sitting on the nightstand flat on its face, before turning on a lamp and going through the drawer. She finds pictures of the Costigan family which makes her smile. She sits on the bed and sifts through them, laying out the photos of William and carelessly tossing the others aside.
At the Palmer home, Grace continues to do investigating on the computer and ends up on the Channel 19 WGBC-TV website. She clicks on a hyperlink for the general manager and is brought to a photo of William Costigan.
Meanwhile, Donna lustfully takes off her sweater, drops it on the floor, and lies on William and Jeanie's bed, as she fantasizes about William.
Grace enters Donna's bedroom and begins to search through the drawers of her nightstand, when she eventually uncovers the same picture of William that she found on the WGBC-TV website.
Donna is suddenly woken from her dreamlike state, when she hears a car pull into the driveway and sees headlights flash in the room. She quickly gets out of bed, and starts gathering the family photos, placing them back in the drawer of the nightstand, and restoring Jeanie's photo.
William walks through the door, calling for Donna. Donna rushes to gather the photos of William and place them in the waistband of her pants. William begins to search each room, looking for Donna. Donna rapidly refolds one of William's plan white t-shirts and placing it back in the dresser. She plumps the pillows on the bed and puts her sweater back on before hurrying to the top of the stairs just as William was about to climb them. Donna says that she was just tucking Trish in and remarks how William is home early. William admits that miracles do happen and thanks Donna for helping out.
Donna comments on Jeanie's interview in New York and asks William who will be taking care of Trish. William assumes Jeanie will work at home, which is a plausible idea for magazine writers. Donna convinces an originally reluctant William to let her fix him dinner, insisting that she loves to cook. Afterwards, William didn't realize he was so hungry. Donna brings up how she 'went' on an interview today as well for work involving computers. She offers to help him with any problems he may experience with computers in the future when she is interrupted by Jeanie's arrival.
William lovingly greets Jeanie by kissing her. Jeanie thanks Donna for filling in, before inquiring about Grace's health. Donna isn't sure, but says that she'll check on her. Before leaving, Donna goes to retrieve her bag in the living room. Once Donna leaves the kitchen, William remarks that he hasn't seen Jeanie so happy in a long time and compliments her sparkling eyes before the couple start making out. Donna awkwardly walks back in and they pause. Jeanie promises Donna that she owes her a lunch, however Donna says that she is friends with Trish and enjoyed herself. William offers to walk Donna back to her house and she accepts. Before leaving, William quietly tells Jeanie not to "lose that thought."
On the walk back to the Palmer home, Donna talks about her former job being outsourced in Kansas City, thus directing her to live with Grace. Donna also felt that the reason for the move was that she was looking for a change and is still trying to figure out what the change might be. William offers to help her with finding a job. While William and Donna are talking outside the home, Grace has tuned in watching them from an upstairs window. Grace sees Donna give William a friendly bear hug which causes her to look back at the picture. Donna waves to William who tells her goodnight before walking back to his home.
Donna happily climbs the stairs and enters her bedroom to be greeted by Grace, sitting on her bed. Donna quizzes Grace about being in her room. Grace holds William's picture up and questions her about the meaning of what went on with William outside. Donna asks Grace where she got the picture and Grace reveals that she knows Donna downloaded it from the WGBC website because she found it in her nightstand. Donna is in shock that Grace went "snooping" through her things. Grace explains that she was concerned after she received a call from Lisa about the interview that Donna said "went well" but never showed up to. Grace wants to know why Donna had lied to her. Donna angrily tells Grace that it doesn't justify her to go looking through her personal belongings and tells Grace that she isn't important to her.
When Donna orders Grace to get out, Grace refuses, prompting Donna to shove her out. Grace tells Donna to get ahold of herself, however Donna refuses explaining that she has recognized her anger and she has decided to 'keep it' because it is the only thing that no one can take away from her. Donna strongly warns Grace that if she ever catches her looking through her things again, Donna will kill her before shoving Grace a second time and causing her to lose her footing and fall backwards down the stairs and to her death.