Born in 1943 during German occupation of their French town, Patrick and Marie-José have been best friends; now teens, they experiment with sex, which doesn't seem to bring them closer. Patrick has also taken to American jazz, hanging out at a nearby Army base where he picks up the drums and comes to the attention of a Caberra, a brutish American sergeant who enjoys starting fights with Black soldiers. Caberra gives Patrick a drum kit, talks to him about life, and introduces him around. Patrick meets Trudy, an American teen who loves Buddy Holly. Marie-José is jealous and establishes her own liaison. What of Patrick and Marie-José's pact to be friends forever?