Libby laid her sketchbook to the side,and started to think about what had happened so far. Tom was now in
New York and Marilee was somewhere on the continent with Serena, and Karina was left to run the office and take the messages.
Karina was really in her element there, sitting at Marilee's desk and insisting on constant coffee refreshments. Madeline
was tired of refilling the pot , but was far too intimidated to even say so, and was meekly acting like a tea lady, instead
of executive secretary to a Glamour High Society Editor.
Libby looked at her sketch of Katherina, The All Powerful,
and couldn't help grinning.
Karina started life as Catherine spelt with a 'C", but during her years at graduate school
where she finished as Dux not only of her subject and course, but of the whole University, she managed to change it first
to Katherine, then later when a junior cadet with the "New York Times" into Karina.
From being a budding junior, she very
quickly moved onto star reporting and was to become the Roving Reporter and On Screen Reader for the New York Voice, which
she actually started first in her small column.
Now she was read by millions, but she still wanted more. She was
what she had always been, a highly ambitious and talented, as well as capable and consuming, person and woman.
From the days they were at College together, Karina was always the leader and the Star.
The interesting thing was that as the others had grown and become successful in their separate ways, Karine
somehow seemed to be always pushing to still be the best and the most successful. When Marilee was voted as the "Most Successful
Woman of the Millenium" Karina almost self destructed with annoyance. However, she was far too professional to hold a grudge
for long, and anyway, though they were competitors, in Karina's mond anyway, they were still friends and respected each others
enormous capacities intensely.
They were two powerful women who became powerful in different ways. Karina got there on her sheer effort,
natural skill and outstanding ability. Marilee was breezing along until the huge lottery winning, which she had never disclosed
to anyone, but which Tom had drunkenly disclosed during one of their casual encounters, and from there, it was mainly Serena
and Karina herself who had sent marilee soaring but somehow, Marilee had never quite acknowledged that fact ever to either
of them. Not that it mattered really, as they were all on the same journey upward, and what benefitted one, also
reacted on the others.
She had met Marilee during one of her 'Trips'. The Station was forever sending her to places that were
exotic and different. It was in Rio de Janeiro by the Bay that she actually met Marilee when she was jogging on New Year's
The Locals have this wonderful custom of floating flowers off to the sunset, and attaching a prayer to each
flower. She had watched them lining up on the beach the evening before and throwing flowers into the water. It looked stunning
as the sun was setting and the figure on the cross reflected over the horizon.
The next morning, the beach was still strwen with flowers that the receding tide had left on the sand. She
walked along deep in thought, collecting a stray bloom now and then and returning it to the water with a prayer, hoping her
prayer would attach to that of the original person.
She looked up to see Marilee walking towards her also holding some stray flowers in her hand.
"What are you praying for...another man or another movie?" laughed Karina and Marilee gasped with delight.
"What a surprise to meet you in Rio" she laughed. " I haven't seen you since College days, but I sure have
read about you, and followed your fame."
"Not as famous as you' My Dear," returned Karina. " Congratulations on your win".
" I was surprised too," was the smiling response, " as I fully expected you to win the Woman of the Year."
" Actually I did too," responded Karina with a wry grin.
" I was mad as hell with you for a while, but I have got over it. I also realised that you have come a long
way, and if anything deserve that award far more than me."
"What are you doing here, and why did we not meet last night?"
"Possibly because I was one of the reporters covering the Function at Government House, whilst you were
with the Society Queen and her entourage at the Palace."
Marilee laughed. It was true. They walked on together, agreed to meet for lunch and that was the beginning
of their relationship as two powerful women instead of two young ladies on the move.
Karina had been to many places....
While Karina was roving on behalf of the NY Voice,
she had spent a few nights in Paris before going down to Cannes to chase celebrities at the festival. In a hazy electric nightclub
she had observed a tall slender woman across the room who was obviously the object of much attention from the men who sought
to connect with those in power. She studied the woman's stance, her gestures, and her profile...it was Merilee, but Karina
wasn't yet in-the-know about who this woman was and that her own life would become intertwined with hers. Karina maneuvered
closer to her across the crowded room, just as another woman worked her way toward Merilee, but this woman parted the crowd
before her and had an entourage in tow...it was Serena, and Karina recognized her instantly. Serena moved toward Merilee,
and was soon at her side. Now Karina had the beginnings of a story-in-the-making. Who was this woman?