Study Guide

The Time Traveler's Wife Book 1, Chapter 12

By Audrey Niffenegger

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Book 1, Chapter 12

Better Living through Chemistry

  • Sunday, September 5, 1993 (Clare is 22, Henry is 30): Afraid he will disappear during his own wedding, Henry considers taking some potent drugs to inhibit his episodes. Clare doesn't approve of his idea, because she thinks he isn't "sick." Henry responds that he loves her for her ability to adore all his hideous flaws.
  • Monday, September 6, 1993 (Henry is 30): Henry goes to see his friend Ben. While waiting in front of Ben's house for him to show up, he runs into Gomez. Gomez is surprised to see him in this part of town and seems suspicious of whatever has brought Henry to Ben. Ben has AIDS and experiments with all kinds of drugs in his lab. Henry gives him the ingredients for a drug he learned of in the future that he believes will keep him from time traveling without notice or control, at least on the day of his wedding. Ben warns him that he might not tolerate the drug. He agrees to try it out, but gives Henry another already-existing morphine-based drug to try first. Henry pops it and it feels like a million bucks. He invites Ben to the wedding and leaves.
  • Outside Ben's house, Henry runs into Gomez again. Gomez can tell that Henry is on drugs. Henry tells him he's conducting "a science experiment" on himself. Gomez drives him to Clare's place where Henry promptly goes to bed. Gomez entreats Clare once again to not marry Henry. She walks out on him. In bed with Henry, Clare voices her fear of Henry trying the new drug that Ben's making for him.
  • Monday, September 27, 1993 (Clare is 22, Henry is 30): When Clare shows up at Henry's apartment to go to the opera, she finds him lying on the floor, unresponsive. She calls 911 and Ben. At the hospital, Ben takes the blame for Henry's accident. Clare begs him to take Henry off the drugs and he agrees.

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