Sixteen-year-old Wolf remains overwhelmed by the death of his father some years ago. He is struggling; lonely and tentative about approaching girls. He compensates by assuming familial responsibilities for his pregnant mother and Darius, his troublemaking younger brother.
When Wolf thinks Darius has accidentally killed their neighbor, an elderly woman, in the stairwell of their apartment building, Wolf feels the full weight of the guilt his brother ignores. He hides the body of the old woman in the basement and begins to live in a world where the imaginary oozes into reality.
The old woman appears to him again and again on the staircase, but dies each time when Wolf is unable to save her. He begins to help the old woman's husband with his daily routine. Both are grieving for loves lost, and Wolf initially covets the old man's numbed state until he recognizes that his grief is all-consuming.
Wolf finds brief comfort when his mother gives birth, miraculously, to his father. But his father is reborn as the weak dying man of Wolf’s memories, so his happiness is short lived. And he is saddened that the effort he has made to take on the paternal role and care for the family in his father's absence seems to go unappreciated.
Wolf connects again with the old man and hopes to help him get over missing his wife. He takes the old man to the basement to show him her dead body, but when they don’t find her, Wolf takes him back to his apartment. Later, Wolf finds the old woman dying again on the staircase and her grief-stricken husband dies of a broken heart.
When his father accuses him of not taking care of his brother, Wolf brings him the old woman's body as the ultimate proof of the lengths to which he's gone to protect Darius. But his father assumes the whole thing is Wolf’s responsibility. With this rejection, Wolf is finally able to grieve for what he has lost and begins embracing his own life as a teenager. He pursues the girl he has steadily been growing close to and finds he’s learned to love the way the old man loved his wife.