Sitting in the car, Tracey fired up the engine.
“Feeling OK?”, asked Sparks.
“Yeah. It was a bit of a shock speaking to the lads again. I must have been pretty drunk when I met them, but I’m pretty sure we just had a dance.”
“That’s footballers for you. Always got to big themselves up.”
Tracey laughed, “Yeah. I don’t suppose their striking is as impressive as they like to make out.”
“Probably not. I bet the listeners will still be talking about this show for a while though, and that’s what we’re here to do.”
“One thing bothers me though.”
Sparks looked curious. “Really?”
“Yeah. How did that woman know I was a redhead?
As the event started to wind down, Kate decided to face her daemon, or at least try to apologise to Karen. Part of her wanted to slink away quietly and hide, but for the moment, a couple of glasses of wine kept that little voice under control. Several people who had asked questions used them to make points about running businesses and families. By the end, her ego was feeling battered and bruised. No one seemed to be offering any pleasant goodbyes in her direction but quite a few sharp looks were aimed toward her.
Waiting patiently as the last few women shook Karen’s hand and told her how pleased they had been to hear her speak. Shelia hung around as though protecting her star turn and gently ushered them out of the door.
Eventually, Kate was alone with the two of them. The venue staff busied themselves clearing up around the trio.
“Rough evening, Kate, isn’t it?” Karen asked, “You put your foot in it a bit earlier.”
“Well, it’s your own fault.” Shelia scolded, “You know most of the women here have children but they are all successful entrepreneurs. Of course, you can have a family and a business…”
Kate spluttered, “What I meant was…”
“I’m perfectly aware of what you meant young lady”, Shelia interrupted, “You meant that those of us with families were somehow second class citizens. Well, we might not have appeared on daytime television, but maybe that’s because we’re too busy getting on with our jobs. All of them.”
“I’m sorry, I was just trying to…”
“What you were trying to belittle us. Perhaps our group isn’t big enough for you. I expect I’ll have a few e-mails waiting for me when I get back home suggesting that you not be invited again.”
Kate gave up. With one last defiant look at the organiser, she turned on her heels and started towards the door.
“Hold on Kate”, Karen called, but the door was already closing.