Eric Salstrom, 29, a genius coasting as a music history professor, watches Laura on her first day at small town Ralston College in mid-California. He purposely bumps into her. She's caught like a deer in headlights when she looks in his intense eyes. Laura meets sophomore campus handyman Jay. They begin their relationship with a shared interest, studying history. Eric hacks the college computer so Laura's part-time job search begins and ends at Eric's home, cataloging and burning CDs of Eric's record collection. This seemingly inane job puts her alone, for hours at a time, in his home. She has a memory problem, result of a plane crash that killed her parents and her father's parents a decade ago. She alone survived. Her memory is improving, including nightmare flashes of the plane crash. But there are new gaps: no memories between working at Eric's and waking up from each nightmare the next morning. During a school break, Laura's memory returns. She knows why the plane crashed. She joyfully gushes the news to Eric. He slips, says it worked. Laura's joy fades as she discovers what he did. She storms out. He tries to explain, but can't. Eric's cancer of the larynx has returned. Eric cured her with natural cures, in a sort of 'pay it forward', hoping she would cure him. Laura's anger keeps her from helping, but controlling him is just too good an opportunity to pass up. Eric, hoping another genius mind will help, tutors Laura. Laura is soon completely into finding a fresh cure, even to the neglect of her college studies. She brings Jay in to help. Jay becomes the third wheel as he watches Laura falling for Eric. Finally he can stand no more. His ultimatum rejected by Laura, Jay leaves. Eric's condition continues to worsen. When Eric realizes he's dying, he sends Laura away, to her Grandma's farm in Maine. Laura reaches out to Jay, persuades him to help Eric while she is gone. In Maine, Laura discovers Grandma is wise in home cures. Laura flies back with the needed roots. Too late, Eric dies. She hears Eric's voice-mailed last encouragement via computer with Jay's hand on her shoulder.