On a bustling shopping day in winter, Jonathan Trager meets Sara Thomas when both try to buy the same pair of gloves at Bloomingdale's department store. Two strangers amid the masses in New York City, their paths collide in the mad holiday rush as they feel a mutual attraction. Despite the fact that each is involved in another relationship, Jonathan and Sara spend the evening traveling Manhattan. But when the night reaches its inevitable end, the two are forced into determining some kind of next step. When the smitten Jonathan suggests an exchange of phone numbers, Sara balks and proposes an idea that will allow fate to take control of their future. Sara asks Jonathan to write his name and phone number on a dollar bill, while she writes her name and number on the inside cover of a used copy of Love in the Time of Cholera. If they are meant to be together, she tells him, they will find their way back into one another's life.