A couple of nights ago, while my husband and daughter were at choir practice, Noah and I decided to look for a movie on Netflix. As I was scrolling through new releases on the instant queue, I found The Promise)

This, if you don’t know, if a movie that apparently, from the way the credits read, Danielle Steel wrote a novel of AFTER it was a movie. I could be wrong, and if you know something different, let me know. There is no credit for her in the movie that I found, but the book says “Based on a screenplay by Garry Michael White.”

Anyway, I think this was the first Danielle Steel book I ever read and I’m pretty sure I read the book before I saw the movie. So, I turned the movie on.

It’s a romance but to my surprise Noah watched it with me. At one point, an important point for the plot, the main characters, played by Stephen Collins and Kathleen Quinlan, are in a horrible car accident which leaves him in a coma and her face smashed beyond recognition. Then there’s a lot of plastic surgery, paid for by his mother if she promises never to contact him. They’re in love and he promised to never say good-bye to her, so she feels completely safe that he will search her out.

However, the mom tells him she died in the accident (the point where my husband, when I related this story, lost suspension of disbelief. “Isn’t there anyone else he could talk to to find out if this were true? Like mutual friends or something?), so the rest of the movie plays out where she is recovering both physically and emotionally to a new face/new identity and the idea that he has apparently forgotten her.

You know the rest – they run into each other later through business (he’s an architect, she’s an artist – a photographer at the end, but a painter before the accident) and he doesn’t recognize her. Anger and grief, confusion and unexplained attraction.

Then he figures it all out. Happily ever after.

That was two days ago. Today on the way to school, Noah said, “Mom, I don’t get something. Why was her face all smashed up if there are air bags?”

Then I had to explain that in 1979, when this movie and story took place we didn’t have air bags.

I think my darling boy has been worried about this. He was afraid to look at the screen when they showed her in the hospital because he thought there’d be all these injuries, but of course, it was just her head wrapped in bandages with only eye holes and a mouth.

I love the idea that he has been thinking for two days, trying to figure this out. His brain is a very busy, busy place.