Nickie Ferrante, a well-known playboy and painter, meets Terry McKay aboard the SS Constitution. They fall in love with each other despite being engaged to other people. They agree to reunite on top of the Empire State Building in six months time if they still feel the same.
On the day of their rendezvous, Terry is struck by a car and rushed to the hospital. Nickie waits all the day for her, unaware of her accident. Dejected, Nickie leaves, assuming that Terry has forgotten about him.
Terry is injured in the accident and uses a wheelchair. Despite all, she goes on to become a teacher. She doesn't see Nickie again until she encounters both him and his fiancée at the ballet a year later. Nickie can only bring himself to say hello to her, not noticing her condition because she is seated. He is too proud to ask her why she never showed up, and she will not burden him with the terrible truth of her injury.
Nickie decides to visit Terry. She never moves from the couch, but her face falls unexpectedly as he begins to tell her about a painting that he had done of her. He knows only that it was given to a young woman in a wheelchair. Nickie suddenly makes a connection, and upon seeing the painting in Terry's bedroom, he realizes that she cannot walk. Subsequently, all is revealed about the fateful day that they were supposed to meet. In the final emotional scene, the two declare their love for one another.