Tùng (18 years old) is a lowly employee at a public lighting company. Huyền, 17, is an average student at a 2-year college. They’re both poor, and live separately in rented dorm rooms.
Huyền has a single “close” friend, Linh, her gay neighbor who makes a living by dressing up as a woman and catching unsuspecting customers looking for sex in dark spots.
Tùng is a hustler and knows a lot of people among the gamblers and cockfighting players. His special skill is to aim his spit at people, always hitting his marks. As he is happily perched in the air to hang up advertising lights, he suddenly gets news from Huyền that she is pregnant.
Both want Huyền to have an abortion, but that costs money. The fetus grows and Huyền is often hungry, spending money on porridge. Tùng gambles on cockfighting bouts, hoping to earn some money, while Huyền counts on a scholarship and money selling her hair.
Near the date for the abortion, Tùng steals the money she has saved to pay his debts from gambling of the cock fights. He disappears.
Linh introduces Huyền to a “pimping” woman—Huyền agrees with one condition: she will not sleep with the cutomers. But on the first date, she is fired because the customer finds out she is pregnant—a form of bad luck according to Asian customs. Afterward, Huyền is introduced to Hoàng, a man especially interested in pregnant women. Huyền accepts and begins saving again for the abortion. As time passes, Huyền realizes the pregnancy brings her many avantages, including a closer bond with Hoàng. The fetus grows, and Hòang grows more enamored of the movements in her belly. Huyền finds her courage to resist diminishing under Hoàng’s caresses. When she realizes she is in love with Hoàng, she asks him to make love to her. After that time, she can’t find him. He seems to have disappeared.
Just before her abortion appointment, when she has found enough money, Tùng returns with cash from gambling, and a pair of red shoes as a present. Tùng takes Huyền on a ride in his truck to make amends. Huyền tries to get in touch with Hoàng in vain, and nearly cries with the tight red shoes hurting her feet.
The next morning, in her tiny kitchen, Huyền is absorbed in boiling a pot of porridge, the bubbles growing and growing bigger.