April 15, 1989
Jason Treborn wakes up, noticing that he is lying down on a bed. He sets his foot on a carpeted floor.
Looking down, he notices that he is wearing some sort of outfit. Memories of his last moments suddenly surface, and he lifts up his shirt.
There is no wound nor scar on his chest or abdomen. Looking outside the window, he sees a yard enclosed by a brick wall. He wonders where he is; this place is unfamiliar.
Entering another room, he sees a sink, a toilet, and a shower. Looking into the mirror above the sink, he sees a haggard face.
He turns on a General Electric radio on the stand by the bed. The song "I Get Weak" by Belinda Carlisle plays.
It must be at least 1988.
On the stand with the radio is a picture of his wife and son; Jason notices that he is not in the picture.
He leaves the room, walking down the hallway. He passes a short woman also wearing a similar-colored outfit.
"Morning, Jason," she says.
"Uh, hi," says Jason. "Where am I?"
"The Sunnyvale Institution. You've been here for what, three years."
"Oh yeah. You don't remember anything that happened since you came here."
Jason walks along the corridors. He recognizes the place from his time visiting his grandfather here.
He walks to a cafeteria. The food servers are already serving breakfast; Jason gets himself some Kellogg's Froot Loops. The television show Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is shown on a mounted Sony color television.
A creeping feeling washes over him, like a tsunami crashing into a seaside village, as if something had went horribly wrong.
After washing down his breakfast with Minute Maid orange juice, an orderly in a white outfit walks up to him.
"Dr. Redfield wishes to see you," says the orderly.
"Redfield?" asks Jason.
Jason is escorted down a hallway towards one of the offices. The office that he enters is unrecognizable, but the man behind the desk looks very familiar.
"Dr. Redfield," he says.
"Hello, Jason," replies Dr. Harlon Redfield, sitting behind his leather seat. "Do you know what has happened?"
"I remember being in my office. There was this police standoff. My son, Evan, brought me my photo album."
"So you must have misplaced the note. You had a note taped to your door so you could understand what was going on, since you do not remember your time here."
"What happened?" asks Jason.
"You had a stroke on August 31, 1985," replies the psychiatrist. "You were in a coma for two months. A few days after you woke up, you were diagnosed with anterograde amnesia. It is now April 15, 1989."
"You mean I can't remember anything that happened since then?"
"That's right. You suffered permanent brain damage."
Jason is silent for a moment; the news of his condition and its implication sink into him. "You've told me this before," he says.
"Yes, I did. I was the one who made the original disgnosis when you were still recovering in the hospital in White Plains."
"I have to go back; I need my photo album."
"You don't have a photo album, Jason."
"Bullshit! I want my photo album."
"Calm down, Mr. Treborn," Redfield says in an even voice. "Please, calm down. Take a deep breath."
"Okay," replies Jason, breathing deeply. "I need to know about my family. Things are different than what I remember. If I've been here since 1985…"
"Your parents are still alive and well in Connecticut. Your dad often visits you here."
"My parent?. Oh, Mom didn't- won't – die of a stroke until '92."
"Your brother is still living with his wife, and his kids are doing fine."
"What about Andrea and Evan? Are they still living in Harrison? I know we didn't buy the mansion in Rye until '97."
"You can speak to them; they're visiting today."
Seven-year-old Evan Treborn walks along the corridor in the Sunnyvale Institution, his hand tightly gripped by his mother. They both follow Dr. Redfield. Distant screams and bloodcurdling laughter make their way here.
"Dad lives here?" asks Evan.
"Not in this wing, actually," says Redfield. "No."
"Now your father may seem sleepy to you," says Andrea, "but that is just because of his medicine, okay?"
"Okay," replies her son.
Redfield escorts Evan into the Visitor's Chamber. The boy takes a seat at a long, rectangular table.
Jason Treborn is escorted into the room. He wears leg shackles and handcuffs along with his outfit. He looks and sees his son. It seems strange to him, his last memory of his son was that of a twenty-year-old man.
"It's okay," says Jason. "I won't bite."
"Uh-huh," replies Evan. "Mom says I have your eyes."
"Ever wonder what could have been?" asks Jason. "If I hadn't gotten sick?"
"I know. You would have grown up to be a fine young man. But with me out of the picture, damnit!" Jason starts to get excited despite his sedation. "You have flashbacks?"
"Flashbacks?" asks the boy.
"Like, when you look at a picture, stare into it. Does anything strange happen?"
"Mom showed me a movie of me being born. It became dark. I was in this small space."
"You are having these flashbacks. I was praying this curse would end with me. It must end with me."
Adrenalin overtakes the sedatives. Jason clutches his son's throat. "I love you," he says through clenched teeth.
Orderlies tackle him from both sides as Andrea rushes in to take her son.
"He has to die!" he yells, looking into his wife's eyes. "You don't understand. It's the only way to stop it!"
He feels something hard smack into his head an instant before darkness consumes him.
November 23, 1989
The deep-fried turkey is placed on top of a bed of French fries on a serving plate located in the center of a white tablecloth.
"This is awesome, Aunt Andrea," says twelve-year-old Christina Anne Treborn, taking a slice of the juicy turkey.
"Thanks, Chrissy," replies Andrea. She and Evan are visiting her parents-in-law for Thanksgiving, the first time she ever spent a holiday with them since 1984. Evan is already helping himself to a slice of the family recipe Andrea learned from her mother.
"You okay?" asks Dana Treborn, the wife of Jason's brother Scott.
"We do our best," replies Andrea. "I work as a nurse, and it's a good living combined with the insurance settlement."
"Yeah," replies Scott Treborn. "Who knows when you'll need insurance."
"So what's wrong with Uncle Jason?" asks nine-year-old Nick Treborn, who is Scott's son.
"Your uncle had a stroke and can't remember anything new," replies Andrea. "Think about not being able to remember what happened today, or what would happen from now on."
"I heard he was also talking about the future."
"Yes, he has a fantasy memory of the future."
Chris and Lucinda Treborn look around the table. "We should be thankful for what we have, now," says Chris.
Minutes later, Chris and Lucinda are inside the bedroom that they have had for decades. They were happy and grateful to spend time with their daughter-in-law and grandson on this holiday. They both remember their visits with Jason since he was committed to the Sunnyvale Institution in December of 1985, especially his conversations about the future.
Particularly unsettling for Chris is the prediction that Lucinda would die from a stroke in 1992 – three years from now. And given that Jason's other predictions, like his prediction about the 1988 World Series, with Kirk Gibson scoring the winning home run on a 3-2 count at the bottom of the ninth on Game 1 in Dodger Stadium, Chris believes that prediction without a doubt. The knowledge that his wife would die of something unpreventable in a few years places a great burden on his heart. As far as he knew, Lucinda was not told of the year nor circumstances of her future death.
"Couldn't you go back?" asks Lucinda.
"Going back could cause more problems," replies her husband. "I could end up like Jason did."
"You can't even warn him?"
Chris pulls a drawer from the nightstand and hands a sheet of paper to Lucinda. On the paper is a note in Jason's handwriting, containing information about stock quotes from December of 1977, as well as the results of the 1977 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Below that is a message in Chris's handwriting.
January 1, 1986
I know that you have the power to relive your life and change things. I too have this ability, as did your grandfather Matt.
This ability comes with a price. Continued use of this power will result in memory disorders just as it did with your grandfather.
This is the only warning you will ever get.
From the future,