In the ladies, Tracey stared into the mirror. Tears ran down her face. The make-up that had survived the rain now ran in streaks down her cheeks. She slapped the tiled walls and cried with frustration and anger. How dare Kate have a go at her? She’d always talked about taking risks and thinking outside the box, but now she was getting all prissy about the show. All that work and now her boss was going to kill it all because she was worried about what a few stuck-up people thought.
The door opened and Sandy from accounts started to come in. Looking at Tracey, she quickly decided her bladder could hold on for a few more minutes and swiftly exited again.
Tracey sat on the floor. The cold of the tiles helped soothe her mind and gradually she got herself together. Some dabs of toilet paper along with the handwash restored her make-up so she didn’t look like an understudy for the rock band Kiss. A couple of minutes with the hand drier made her hair a bit drier, even at the cost of extra frizz.
Looking at her reflection again, she took some deep breaths and headed out of the door.
The office was quiet as Tracey walked through, heading back to Kate. Sandy had obviously filled them in and several people looked and then turned away hoping she hadn’t seen them staring. She hadn’t. The only thing she could see was Kate’s door. She marched in without knocking and pushed it shut behind her.
Kate and Gareth looked at her. From their expression, she guessed Gareth had been playing peacemaker, but Kate still looked angry.
“Oh, you’re back are you? I thought you’d.”
Tracey cut her off. “Yes I am.”
“Well, we are going ahead with this.”
Kate crossed her arms. “Oh no you’re not. We do NOT organise porn shows here.”
Tracey drew herself up to her full height and looked Kate straight in the eye. “It’s not a porn show. It’s a good night out for a load of women. Women who are up for a good laugh. Women who like a night out with their mates. If you knew anything about women, you’d recognise a good idea when it came along.”
Kate looked shocked, “What do you mean, ‘if I knew anything about women’?”
“I mean normal women. Women who have mates and blokes and like to have a laugh. Come on Kate, you’re not as prim and proper as you like to make out. Surely even you like a bit of eye-candy. Well, even if you don’t, lots of other people do and you know what? They are happy to splash the cash for it, and that’s what this theatre needs. Councillor Dhaliwal says we just have to run one good, big, profitable show, and the place will be saved.”
“You mean fill the place with slappers.”
“They aren’t slappers. They are normal women who want a good night out. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve done the legwork. I know how much we could make and if I’m right…”
“If you are right”, Kate interrupted, “because you are the great financial genius. I’ve heard you moaning you can’t balance your credit card some months. What makes you so sure you can make the numbers add up this time?”
Tracey stood her ground. Gareth looked distinctly uncomfortable, but looking at his colleagues, he decided to try and calm things down. “Look. Ladies. Kate. I know Tracey has done a lot of work on this. I’m sure she can show you what she’s come up with properly. Maybe I didn’t explain it quite right.”
Kate said “Oh, I’m looking forward to a full explanation. I’m sure Tracey has loads to show us. Let’s just hope it amounts to more than just a collection of oily blokes’ torsos.”
Tracey smirked. “Oh yes. I’ve got plenty of those, but Ash, I mean Councillor Dhaliwal has given me the numbers to back all this up. We’re working on a plan to win the culture committee over when they meet next.”
“So you’re off to a council meeting to try and persuade them are you? Well, perhaps I better come along too. Someone better be ready to sort out the mess.”
Tracey gulped. “You want to come to the meeting too?”
“Well, it is MY business you are dragging into all this.”
Tracey looked defiant. “Fine. I’ll put it in your diary and you can join us on the night. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.“.
With this, she turned on her heels and marched back to her desk, hoping she looked more confident than she felt.