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NOTRE DAME IS SO INDEPENDENT, MOM

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"Hello?"

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"RebACCa, this is Mama Dame. How are you, sweetie?" Oh, I'm great. How's your back?"

"Feeling much better. Did you get the muffins I sent you? They're fat-free."

"I did! You're the best."

"That's good. Is my boy around?"

"He's working late. Michigan State week. You know how he is."

"Oh, I do worry so. It's been rough for him, but I'm glad you're living together. It'll help him out so much, and you're so giving."

"Well, you're very understanding. I know this isn't the way you...the way you wanted it."

"No, really, I...I just hope he appreciates everything. The Wake Forests. The Dukes. Really, sweetie, just the Dukes and the Marylands alone will help him so much. And I know you'll get married. That's what makes this okay in my eyes. God understands."

"We know this. He'll figure it out in time, Mama."

"Just be...careful."

"He's still got the Trojans on the schedule, if you know what I mean."

"..."

"I'm sorry. I just want to reassure you if you're worried--"

"That's fine, let's just change the topic to...Florida State! Don't forget that. When he gets one of those, it's always fun. He lights up like a little Christmas tree inside."

"I know! I just can't wait for it all. But sweetie, let's just keep this between you and I, okay?"

[A DOOR OPENS. Notre Dame enters.]

"Um, okay, sure, I can be home between 10:00 and 11:00. Sure. Okay, thanks."

"Cable guy?"

"Yup. Gonna look at the box. We don't get the Longhorn Network for some reason."

[NOTRE DAME sighs.]

"What is it, ND?"

"Just...just tell me it's okay."

"It's okay, baby."

"Just...just tell me I'm independent."

"So independent, baby. My hardworking independent man."

[NOTRE DAME sighs]

"I'm going for a walk. If my mother calls, I'm..."

"I don't even have her number, honey. But I won't answer your phone for you."

"Okay. I...I really like you, RebACCa."

"That's nice, dear. Have a good walk."

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[NOTRE DAME walks into the night, muttering "I'm independent" to himself. RebACCa picks up the phone.]

"Hello?"

"Sorry, he just went on a walk. Now, should I get him the Duke or the Syracuse first?"

"Oh, let's start with the Duke, and not the Syracuse. Not, I repeat, not the Syracuse."

"Done."