On a summer afternoon in August 1999, young hitchhiker Lei Haiyang is picked up on the road to Beijing. Somewhere along the way another hitchhiker, runaway Yanzi, is also picked up. Lei falls asleep but is awoken by the sounds of Yanzi being attacked by the truck driver and his friend. Lei flees the scene and later, in Beijing, hears news of a woman murdered in the woods. He reports his experience to the police, but begins seeing a woman who looks like Yanzi on the city streets. When Lei confronts the woman she denies that she is Yanzi, and as the two strike up a friendship the truth of what happened that afternoon is revealed.