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(The play begins with Mrs. Talbert entering from Stage Right through the “front door.” She has a stack of mail in her hand. She takes a seat at the kitchen table and begins to flip through the mail before stopping at the very last letter as she stares at it somberly before reading the address.)

MRS. TALBERT
“To Nick”....

(Mrs. Talbert stares at the letter for a short period before placing the letter with the other stack of unopened letters on the kitchen table. Shortly after, Nick Talbert arrives home, looking dreary.)

.MRS. TALBERT
Hey sweetie, what’s wrong? Did everything at school go okay?

NICK TALBERT
I feel so worthless right now!

MRS. TALBERT
Nick, what are you talking about? Did something happen at basketball practice?

NICK TALBERT
(Slumps down into a kitchen chair.) No, practice went fine, it’s just that… Kate doesn't love me anymore, she’ll probably break up with me any day now!

MRS. TALBERT
Nick! This again?

NICK TALBERT
It’s real this time mom! I saw her every chance I could today, and every time I tried to talk with her she’d only say a few words and then say she had to get going. She didn't even tell me she loved me, she just walked off! I feel forgotten to her right now.

MRS. TALBERT
Nick, you know that’s not true. You and Kate have been dating for almost two years now. You have nothing to worry about! You know Kate’s busy right now, you told me yourself she’s been involved with a lot of school committees recently, she’s probably tied up with all of them and just didn't have time to talk. Stop over-analyzing everything.

NICK TALBERT
I know that mom, it’s just that, even when I’m at my busiest I always make time for her, and I don’t feel like she cares enough to do that for me. I just feel so worthless.


MRS. TALBERT
(Embracing her son.) Nick, I never want to hear you talk about yourself like that again, you’re everything but worthless, you’re smart, you’re handsome, you’re kind, caring, and so many other great things. Your father and I are beyond proud of you and the man you’re becoming. Don’t let these haunting thoughts about Kate get you down, you know they’re not true. Besides, don’t let your happiness in life ever be dependent upon one person. You have so much more to be happy about.

NICK TALBERT
But mom, Kate means so much to me, and I can’t bear the thought of not meaning anything to her.

MRS. TALBERT
Oh, Nick. I worry about you so much because of things like this. This is not what you need to be thinking about, you have a huge game in two days and the whole town is counting on you. (Picks up the letter off the top of the stack.) Your Uncle Jeff sent you another letter today.

NICK TALBERT
(Uncaring and still.) Oh really?

MRS. TALBERT
Your Uncle loves you Nick, and he really cares for you. He called me today and all he wanted to talk about was how proud of you he was. He hardly hears from you anymore now that you’re so caught up in your own life. It would make him happy beyond belief if you actually responded to this one.

NICK TALBERT
What does it matter anyway? Nothing could possibly make me feel better right now. (Places the letter with the others.)

MRS. TALBERT
I am so disappointed in you Nick, your only uncle, who loves you with all of his heart, and you treat him this way.

NICK TALBERT
He doesn't understand what I’m going through! No one ever gets the problems I have!

MRS. TALBERT
Nick! Your problems aren't even problems, you just make them out that way. Now straighten yourself out, and I beg of you, please look at your life’s priorities!

NICK TALBERT
My priorities are right mom! Uncle Jeff will always be there, Kate could be gone in an instant, I have to do whatever I can to make sure of that too! Now, I have some homework to go do. (Exits Stage Left to the “Rest Of The House”.)

MRS. TALBERT
What ever happened to that sweet, happy boy I had all of those years ago? He’s lost in his own depressed world, only to shed it in a second once things change. (Looking once again at the letter.) I remember all of the times he would run to Jeff and jump into his arms. He would play with him for hours on end, but now he won’t even spare him the time of day. Jeff is always so understanding, saying “I was the same when I was young, let him live his life.” But I can’t bear to see Nick ignore him like this.

(Mrs. Talbert holds the letter for a few more seconds before returning it to the stack before she puts on a jacket and exits Stage Right.)

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