Christmas Eve, One (Always crashing in the same car)
Saturday, December 24, 1988 (Henry is 40, Clare is 27)
It's Christmas Eve. Henry is holing up at the reading room at Meadowlark House with a stash of food and some reading material from Clare. It's the nineteenth anniversary of his mother's death.
He reflects on his various travels back to the time when his mother was still alive, sometimes even to a time where he wasn't born and his parents were just a happy young couple. He met them several times but they didn't know his true identity.
Henry is busy remembering his mother becoming a rising star on the opera scene when Clare enters the room. She wishes him "Merry Christmas," but Henry is not in the mood. He explains to her that on the morning of Christmas Eve, when Henry was six years old, he and his mother drove to the airport to pick up his father, but got into a bad accident on the way. Henry survived only because he time traveled. The police found him stark naked by the side of the road. Since then he has been traveling back to that moment, again and again, only to watch her death unfold yet again, helpless.
Henry blames himself for her death and thinks he should have died too. Clare tries to comfort him.