As I get into the final 8 chapters of Marie's World: The Aftermath I want to take the time to show off the first chapter of Marie's World. I know that Joe's just got back from England and the wonderful Rhino finished tearing down Scotland at a wrestling show he just did. I can't wait to show you everything that we have done in book 2 of "Marie's World". So check it out and if you don't all ready have the book make sure that you buy a copy for the upcoming signing.
Barnes & Noble
As I get into the final 8 chapters of Marie's World: The Aftermath I want to take the time to show off the first chapter of Marie's World. I know that Joe's just got back from England and the wonderful Rhino finished tearing down Scotland at a wrestling show he just did. I can't wait to show you everything that we have done in book 2 of "Marie's World". So check it out and if you don't all ready have the book make sure that you buy a copy for the upcoming signing.
Barnes & Noble
I guess I never thought I’d be the one to be writing down my thoughts, however in a few short days my sister is about to out every secret we ever created. I’m on my flight, while I write, from LA to Aberdeen, Scotland to hide. I’m taking the high road and I’m entering into the belly of the beast. I’m about to come face to face with the city where my life really started.
Aberdeen is just full of 217,120 people exactly. I Google, I’m not my sister, just spouting figures without checking. I guess you can say this is the difference between the two of us. I’m flying to the one place where I saw so much, learned lessons I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy and it’s the only place I’m going to be safe. Well if you exclude my father who still lives there.
After almost seven years I’m returning home.
Derek and I, are shooting the video for the Tourist Board and we are tacking something far greater. We are getting away from all the rules we live under in LA to be together. We still respect a lot of my mentor’s rules.
My mad mentor who didn’t have any tact. You see we learned to really be dancers when Layla and I touched down in the hub of the Scottish oil industry. We learned what it meant to really entertain people and what it took to take people’s breath away. We learned under the hand of our fallen best friend. We miss Kayla, even now I’m tearing up with the idea of her not being alive anymore.
In Aberdeen there are even more secrets hiding behind gravestones and in the stones which hold this city up. We created so many stories here and this is the place we called home for so long. Every member of the Aberdeen’s community knows us, treats us like superstars.
This is my homecoming... Let’s hope this time I’m not going to end up married or in the hospital. Long story, I’m sure your all about to learn.
Being back in Aberdeen made Marie’s stomach twist up. She held a rucksack over her back, while she dragged her suitcase behind her. She made her way out of the International Airport with a lengthening step. She kept her eyes hidden behind the safety of her sunglasses. Her heart beat in time with the music blasting through her headphones.
People rushed past her, they went about with their lives and for a moment Marie soaked up being on the threshold of the landmark place in her own history. She stood in the small airport which hadn’t changed a bit and felt her heart race even faster. She stared at the people always in a rush to get somewhere.
No bigger feeling of coming home than this. For Aberdeen offered no bigger reminder of the need to work and to achieve a dream. For she wanted to return a hero, a superstar. Standing here Marie questioned whether she had done that yet.
The place bred drive and challenged its citizens to go after their dreams. Seeing it like it used to be hit her hard and knocked the air out of her chest. She hadn’t thought she’d ever return here. Not when things were about to change so drastically. Her entire world would turn upside down and she’d become lost in it all soon. There wasn’t anything she could do.
She paused, thinking about how Layla’s book would change all of this. Her twin looked to take away the veils of everyone’s worlds, secrets. Tucking her hands into her back pockets, Marie hoped from here she might find a way to survive it all.
Up to this moment she did all she could to stay away from Aberdeen, yet this place got inside her skin and tore her back. Marie fought the greatest desire to run back onto another plane and leave here, but she knew when the news broke of her past, here would be the safest place for her to be. She fought a hard battle to not give into it.
People didn’t know the full story of why she took off out of here when she did. She wore the scars and reminders of what happened here. Her eyes teared up when she looked at the lines of taxis. The signs for Scotland and places she often visited when she trained, competed in dance battles. Created something good.
She knew what went on here couldn’t happen again, history couldn’t be allowed to repeat itself. Marie knew despite everything she couldn’t let her husband back into her life. She lost two men she loved dearly here. Marie still didn’t know why her husband took off into the dead of the night. She remembered painfully now and she wiped at her tears.
“Marie.” A strong male voice broke into her thoughts and she remembered his warning. The reason why she must return here and do what she got paid to do. She couldn’t help seeing her ex-husband in her mind though. His face the moment he told her he loved her and how she used to believe this would all be okay. The way he stroked her cheek, one last time...
Derek warned her about how they had to do this and they looked to change the way things were, by leading the way. Dancers were stubborn and soon her dance world would be over for good. Layla would see to it when her book came out, and the world would know what mistakes Marie had made. She had wondered how they’d look at her if her secrets ever came out, and now Marie would get an answer to this question.
She held one away from even her twin sister, yet somehow she knew this secret would be coughed up in the book which was designed to make the dance world choose. Make them choose between the old ways and the new ones. Layla made them choose and ended the careers of those who’d spent their entire lives dancing.
Her worst secret of all stalked the world out there delighting her enemies who knew it. They rejoiced in what he did to her years ago. His persecution of her haunted her every night when she closed her eyes and went to sleep. She rubbed her face and she waited for the panic to pass. Her ex-husband made her panic, he got inside her head and he made her feel weak. She knew around him she was. Every time she thought of herself with him, her heart beat hard and her lips parted on instinct.
Her twin sister Layla wrote a book exposing the power of romance in wrestling and also went a stage further. Layla exposed the sexual blackmail which went on at WWIC. If only she knew what else went on inside the company. Layla only just started to unravel the threads, the curtains surrounding the worse secrets. Ones Marie wished she didn’t know.
Marie knew a little bit more than her sister did and she needed to keep this from her twin. The weight of her secrets almost crushed her every single day. She couldn’t give her sister the burdens she needed to carry or the life she was forced to live.
Most people didn’t want to be on the road, flying, working and then coming home. Marie had to be on the road, it kept her away from him and away from the temptation to do the wrong thing.
Layla left her dance world behind her and went after a dream to help them, their ideals, old friends. To get to the truth about something which should have been left in the past. Marie even heard her speech about how she did this for their father. To stop him from ever having to return to wrestling.
Marie knew her book did something else. It at some point would force their father back to the ring. For he wasn’t going to allow them to pay for his sins against the oldest form of sports entertainment. She knew he started this. He did so out of good intentions, however those good intentions cost them all something. She refused to forgive him.
Layla did this for those she considered more important than those who stood by her after their mother died. The truth be told, her dance crew got them through so many dark moments in their lives. When their father took off and when their mother passed, they had no one. The dance crews stepped up. Never made them be alone or face anything without having their backs.
The beating Marie endured at the hands of four mystery men, riled them up and they stood behind her. When she went through rehab, when leaving clubs made her break out in cold sweats, they stood behind her. Even when she took off to the United States with her twin sister, they had her back and they never made her feel alone.
Marie knew who the four men who gave her the beating were and just never told anyone. She knew why they’d done what they did. She even found herself forgiving one of them. After all, she took what should have been given to her father. For she’d rather wear the scars they left behind than him. For she made a promise to her mother to take care of him above everything else. This is what she did.
Yet Layla went to help the men they met back when the men roamed the independent wrestling scene. The only time when their two worlds crossed paths. Crossing paths with them and seeing how they treated each other, gave her insight she never expected to have. It made her see them in a whole other light.
Marie understood why Layla wanted put them back on the top of the wrestling world. Her plan didn’t sit well with Marie as she couldn’t be there to protect her sister. She always wanted to be there for her. Not only that, Marie knew if Layla ever made her way to WWIC she’d have no other choice, but to return. She needed to protect Layla against her ex-husband.
Her twin sister went one stage further when she exposed Marie’s life to the world. The bitter taste of betrayal still hadn’t left her mouth. She thought the one person her sister wouldn’t turn on, she did. Marie hated how she needed to learn about the contents of the book just four days before its scheduled release. The book still sat in her bag.
Marie knew the reactions the dance world already had towards her sister’s new attempt at finding herself. Layla never faced the consequences of her actions, rather Marie took them for her. For she feared her twin wasn’t ever going to be strong enough to handle them. She feared her sister having a breakdown a lot. Now Marie saw another beating in her future.
Already she battled the dance world just to hold onto the ground she earned. What hurt her more, she knew what was fact and what wasn’t amongst the secrets Layla wrote about. She wished her sister had asked her about it rather than just write what she thought she knew.
The dance world no longer remembered the hard work they put in. The dance crews, fans just remembered the insane dives that made up their dance battlers, the nights when they reached the peak of the storylines that Marie created. For she was the only writer whom Kayla could use and the one a lot dancers depended on. The injuries the pair endured and now the betrayal Layla did to their world. The dance world forgotten how the two of them helped them out of a difficult situation years ago.
They allowed their own form of Street Dance to keep on living. Marie and Layla took it to the United States where they watched it take life. They discovered they needed to branch out to keep the dance world alive and they did so, much to the shock of those still scratching away within it.
Times had certainly changed.
Coming out of the airport Marie tried to keep fighting off the urge to run away. The urge grew with each passing minute. When she stepped out into the cool Scottish air, where she got the idea of where she must go to clear her head. She thought about this city too much, and the history it held never left her. Their city thrived on history.
Marie hadn’t known love until she met her ex-husband here. He came into her life like a series of fireworks. She went head to head against him and found herself unable to resist him. He made each night with her an adventure. Marie soon learned about his dark side and what he could do with his mind.
She spent years trying to heal up the hole he left behind in her chest when he disappeared in the dead of night. Only being here didn’t help her heal, it made her hole in her chest open up again. There were constant reminders here of what of she didn’t do or what she should have done. It shrunk a little when they left here and Marie started to feel like she could breathe. When she put thousands of miles between her and this city. She started to make noise in Glasgow, Edinburgh, London before taking over parts of LA. Making him remember who she was and what they once shared.
Marie use to find notes in her hotel rooms from him and he reminded her just how he never forgot her. He made her want to succeed to just show him she wasn’t weak and could stand on her own two feet. She knew without him, she’d be nothing. It drove her mad.
Nothing made her forget the man who tore into her life, took it over and left her without any reason. A dark shadow over her life and she knew this shadow well. He still walked around the United States and refused her desperate attempts at ending what they once shared. Marie tried to break free of her ex-husband, but couldn’t.
He changed his number and told her she couldn’t be a part of his life yet wouldn’t give her a divorce. Marie knew this was part of the mind games he played with her. He told her he did this to protect her and make sure she didn’t hurt anymore. Yet being without him made her hurt, tore her apart and made her hate him more. Only she couldn’t really hate him, she loved him and couldn’t ever deny it.
Derek did his best to pick up the pieces after her ex-husband left her. He didn’t know what went on between her and him. He didn’t even know she was married, he just knew the man she’d been dating in secret tore her apart. Made her more bitter, driven and determined.
He just loved her either way.
The two made themselves stars, but they didn’t forget about those they left behind them. They helped and allowed them to get the leg up to make a name for themselves. Marie gave back with Amber and Derek more than any dancer before them. She made the pop come to the dance world again. The dance world reviled the likes of Channing Tatum’s success with Step Up. She felt proud to see the dance world grow. They were just as hungry as she remained.
Now LA, New York and London felt the waves of the crews Marie used to work with and knew their names. She saw the places they set alight and saw the clubs welcome the dancers back into their folds. The stunts were just as impressive and the dancers loved the performances just as much. They chanted their names when they took over places like Jump Off or Circles.
Amber ran her studio out of LA and she worked with entertainment companies all over the world. Her dancers remained the best and now Marie got sent out on projects by her best friend. One night changed Amber’s life and soon after it changed all of theirs. It formed a bond between them which words failed to express.
Nothing fazed Marie and she even accepted how one conversation can change people’s lives. She existed as proof of what could happen with just one conversation. Part of her knew her father wouldn’t ever forgive her for the marriage she walked into willingly. She knew her father wouldn’t ever be able to accept that she loved the man he hated.
Marie did whatever she thought was the best thing for the dance world. She knew she carried heat on her when she did the one thing they considered the biggest no-no. The decision she made that night told her she needed to put distance between herself and those who were on the same level as her in dance. She went one step further when she put distance herself from all the men in her life.
No one forgot a single detail of the night when they felt like she stepped over the line and stopped being one of the original dancers. She went up to the man who was considered the man in wrestling. Marie wanted to show the dance and wrestling world just how strong she was and instead ended up in his bed. His plaything. He controlled her life now. Whether she liked it or not, he did.
The owner of WWIC didn't just control WWIC he owned Marie.
Coming closer to the taxi she rested her arms on the straps of her backpack and she stared at the future she saw before her. Marie tried to run from Layla’s book. She came back to the only place she felt strong enough to face the aftermath.
Marie also knew it wouldn’t be long before WWIC, the biggest wrestling company in the world, picked up on the twin link. For she knew her twin sister would be signed with them by the end of the week. She knew Layla wouldn’t resist the bright lights, the calling of the road and challenges which came with being a WWIC superstar.
After all she knew her sister better than anyone else.
Marie knew her time in the dance world would be done because they broke some rules she didn’t understand and knew they weren’t going to take it lying down. The rebellion would be started if she didn’t leave and she refused to kill Amber’s studio because of her sister’s actions.
When the book came out she knew the former dancers turned wrestlers would come looking for her.
She already heard rumours coming from Amber’s studio. The social media was alive with talk of Layla signing at WWIC. Marie waited for her sister to text her to confirm she had.
She also heard about her sister trying to get Amber to book Marie on the film. The film her ex-husband had decided to make off Layla's book. Pre-sales had been that high.
Marie wasn't sure she could bare being the star of the adaptation. Amber stood by Marie’s decision to stay away from it until there wasn’t any other choice. She couldn’t handle having her heart ripped out again.
Going to the film set Marie knew that she would get her heart destroyed. Not just by having to leave the dance world for good, but she’d come face-to-face with the man who took her heart from her.
Marie held out, wanting Layla to ask her, and had her own reasons for doing so. The longer she kept away from the wrestling world the better. Especially with her dark shadow following her.
If her sister revealed or found out this part of her life, nothing would ever be the same again. Marie knew right now she mentioned it in the book as a rumour. Layla would soon enough find out its truth.
For she knew her ex-husband would take great pride in telling her sister.
What this might do to her father made her almost want to tell Layla, however she wasn’t twisted enough to do that to him. Part of her still cared about her father and wanted him to be proud of her.
She had always known the time would come when she’d be forced to tell her father the truth. Out her own secret and to end the mystery once and for all. Marie knew her father had a pretty good idea, but he wanted to hear it from her. She’d need to answer his calls and face the man who left her too.
Her father abandoned her just as much as her husband had.
Marie clung to the outskirts of the dance world and the entertainment world when pre-sales and promotions for the release of Layla’s book started to create more mayhem with each passing day.
Marie knew Layla had not thought for a single second what it might be like in the world of hard-hitting, larger-than-life characters with baby oil and Spandex.
Most of Marie knew Layla could guess, after all when she danced, dived off things and were held in death-defying lifts she got a small taste of it.
Marie hadn’t forgotten those times when she felt her own shoulder dislocate, the night she heard her neck snapped, the instant she hit the floor wrong or the pain she endured when things fell apart. They both bounced off the bar or the DJ booth and threw themselves into the arms of danger constantly.
Marie didn’t want to enter the world she’d loved as a teenager. For she knew now she couldn’t lie to herself anymore. She’d be forced to take her rightful title and face the bed she made for herself. After all she couldn’t be his wife and the whole industry not know.
A precept got passed around the dancers who’d trained with her old mentor Kayla. The head of her first dance crew and a woman of great strength. A woman who looked to keep her friends safe and alive through the art of dance. Even if it didn’t go quite as planned. She remembered her mentor’s rules well, she worked hard to keep those rules and teachings alive.
Marie witnessed too many broken necks and accidents not to want her mentor’s teaching to stay alive. She believed they should be passed on even if she broke them herself. What made her different to all the others is she did so for her own heart. She paid the price for it.
‘Never meet those you idealise as they can never live up to what you dream them to be.’
A concept by which Marie now lived her life, and the idea of meeting those her sister now worked with made her giddy inside, yet scared her half to death. For one of the men she watched on TV took great pleasure in using her and ripping her heart out.
She wasn’t foolish enough to expect them to be like she dreamt them to be. Marie thought he might be different though. For a while she’d been right, until he packed his bag in the middle of the night. He’d even slipped her a sleeping pill to make sure she’d not wake while he left her.
She also saw the pitfalls her twin couldn’t see and she remembered her earliest interactions with wrestlers. They had marked her memory for the rest of time. Their desires to just sleep with women made her almost sick. They’d do whatever it took. Like they battled for a championship or another notch on their belt.
It made her glad to be with the man she now called her own. To know those days sat firmly behind her. She lived and learned the hard way. Not that any of them knew. Soon they were to know every detail.
No matter what Marie told herself, she knew the men they met back in England weren’t the same men who walked WWIC’s hallways. They changed just like she and her crew had.
Nothing stands still forever.
She knew for better or worse she’d rather have the memory of those fun-loving men they met, rather than the men they’d become.
She saw snippets of what they’d become when she crossed paths with her ex-husband. She never forgot how Jay took great pleasure in telling her Harold had slept with another woman the night before they got married.
Jay used to be a dancer who trained under Kayla, he turned his back on her when she told him she didn’t think he had what it took to make it.
The lights of wrestling screamed to him and he left the dance world to go train in a wrestling school in Chicago. Jay humiliated Marie on his way out of the door. He did so to get his own back on her, for all the years she rejected him.
Marie's own wars with those from the wrestling world reminded her of how many mistakes she’d made. Every single one of them left a scar on her. Her dark shadow made sure to remind her every single day what he had with her and what they would one day have again.
If things were different. Marie wasn’t sure if she wanted things to be different anymore.
The man she now made her life with, was someone who must remain a secret for his own safety, or at least this was the lie she told him. Marie feared what Harold might do if he ever found out about Derek.
She knew she used this as an excuse to protect herself against further heartache.
Marie knew Harold couldn’t find out about Derek, because if he did then Harold would return to her life. She couldn’t avoid it. Part of her wanted to see the same hurt in his eyes that he made her feel.
She did whatever it took to keep their dreams alive and they got to be the people the other dancers believed in. To the outside world Derek and Marie looked like the best dance partners in the world. They were never a step out of tune and they could do stunts at any place, at any time. They were magic on the dance floor.
The films and the commercials, TV shows they did together, though, made Marie fall for Derek more. He’d always loved her, but being with her and not being out in public killed him.
She knew it.
Even if they must keep all of it a secret. Marie wanted to take him out and show him off, she just didn’t want to risk him getting hurt.
They were lovers by night and professional colleagues during the day. They shared a novel’s dream love story. One which started with how they couldn’t be together and ended up with them sharing each other’s heart and soul.
“Where to, Miss?” Asked the familiar-accented man. The accent drew a distant smile to her lips. She’d missed the accents and the smells of this city. The place she’d often called home and lived her life by.
The one place she came back to and became instantly famous all over again. The city named her their own, after her career exploded. Not one of them forgot about the dance stuff she did here.
They looked forward to her returning to show the world how proud they were of her. She always felt like somewhere they finally understood her.
She’d always kept this close to her heart.
“Wait, you’re Marie Susan aren’t you?” The taxi driver asked when she removed her sunglasses and pulled down her hood. Marie hadn't heard her mother's surname with her name in so long.
The electric energy flowed through him and into her just like the old days. She fed off it as he tanked around the car. He pulled out his note book and held it out towards her. She instantly knew what he wanted before the words left his mouth.
“Please can I have an autograph?” He asked like an excited child on Christmas day.
“Yes of course and I’m Marie. Do you think you can take me to the sea front?” She asked and his eyes lit up. She introduced herself just in case he thought she might be Layla. After all, the twin looks extended to their dark hair, the way they held themselves along with the similar facial features they shared.
Quirks even but that was was here the similarities ended.
A frequent mistake everyone made, even if they called her by the right name. She saw so many of their faces drop when she wrote the name Marie. She always checked now.
Even after Layla turned her back on them all, she still got to be a loved icon of Aberdeen, Scotland.
The sea front, the place Marie wanted to make her way to now, held the cinema and a retail park. It overlooked the North Sea. This is where they came to train, pig out and just be herself. Today she used it as a place to get away from the world.
The one part of the world she never got sick of seeing and often wanted to sail on. The roughest sea at times surrounded Aberdeen. It made her believe in myths otherwise shoved to one side. Sometimes she travelled north to Shetland where she trained their islanders.
She saw the icebergs which made it down around the Islands. If she timed her trips to the Shetland Islands just right, she saw whales rushing along the sides of the ferry. They were blue whales and sometimes Seals. The wild life welcomed the islanders and those who visited its rocky shore.
The Island which wasn’t very forgiving.
Marie loved her myths and legends, it helped her to create new dance characters. When she worked on shows or films, she allowed herself to believe the characters were real in order to sell them.
She knew the one character who wouldn’t ever leave her was the dance character she created her character out of nothing. People either liked her for it or hated her.
She often tried to teach these skills to up and coming dancers who performed all around her. None of them got what it meant to be a dancer anymore.
They only saw the tricks, the moves, and she worried about how this would affect the future of their art form. Whether it would survive if they didn’t get how important characters were. How they must animate their faces and bodies to make the people around them believe in what they tried to tell them.
People like her rival Jay, who tried to keep these secrets close to his chest so the nightclub and dance promoters were more likely to book him more than the new dancers. She hated him for more reasons than just his lack of teaching ability with the up and coming dancers.
“Of course it would be an honour,” the taxi driver responded and she signed his notebook before slipping into his black cab.
Her heart started to beat fast as they took off through the city and her mind fell into the rhythm of her music. She thought about the dance material which she must complete during her stay here. She felt rusty and hated the feeling.
Marie planned on tearing one particular place apart again during her stay here. The locals expected her to turn up at one of their nightclubs. A trademark both she and Layla created. She felt like now was the time to keep traditions alive.
She returned Marie remembered how being in this particular club made her realise something about her ex-husband. It didn’t matter what he said to her or did, because they were good in bed together. She could take to the grave the knowledge of how she made him weak there. Made him beg and plead for her. This made her smile and helped her get through the day sometimes.
After losing him and having her father tell her she wasn’t his daughter anymore, she needed something simple. Nothing felt more simple than the sex the two of them created together. She knew these would be the sort of thoughts which would destroy her and Derek. Marie needed these thoughts. For she must face a lot in the coming days.
She knew just how important it was to shake her dance rust off. With the eyes of the world about to fall back on her, she couldn’t afford to be rusty. Marie needed to be on the top of her game and more ruthless than ever. After all she was the bad twin.
The place just happened to be her old stomping grounds with Derek and the other dancers. She knew they waited for her. Before she touched down in Aberdeen’s International Airport they tweeted her to let her know just how welcome she’d be. They liked to extend an invite to her, because they knew what she and her sister did for the nightclub during their dance battles days.
When the clubs use to battle over the dancers back in the ’90s and early 2000s. The war still continued on, just not as passionately or as cut-throat.
In this very nightclub she did her tripled bar dive, gaining her one of the highest marks of honour from a visiting dance crew. She got known as the woman who could create a dive anywhere and be the best dancer in the world. Marie made a point in living up to this title, no matter what it cost her.
Espionage, Aberdeen remained the hottest nightclub they’d ever attended. She liked to give back and a small dance-off in Union Street came to her mind. As a mix of music flowed through her headphones and she felt grateful for this city again. Her mind became alive with ideas.
She missed just feeling free and here she got to be free. When she roamed the United Sates she feared meeting the only man left alive who knew what it meant to hold her in the middle of the night. To feel her shudder underneath him and to be all his. When she confessed her feelings to him.
The only person she allowed her guard down around outside the dance industry. He held all the power to destroy her if he so wished it.
The only other wrestler to know her intimately never got to know what she felt like in his sheets or to hear her call his name. She lived almost in regret for giving anyone this kind of power to anyone.
Here in Aberdeen they always showed her respect by knowing not to hassle her when her headphones were on her head and they allowed her to be herself. They always respected her.
When she did dance stunts here they welcomed the stuff she did with open arms and even the police just shook their heads at her. They never bothered her and she watched them with a smile on her face. Once the police officers even took part. She got away with far too much here and loved them for it. She saw places where she had pushed the boundaries, as the taxi moved through the city.
Victoria’s Park is where she did her first dance lift and almost knocked herself out on a low-laying tree branch. The place where she battled her mentor for the first time and where the storyline between Jay, Kayla, Derek started.
In the middle of the park is where they asked her to join the crew and she threw her head back in laughter. She turned evil there and she made her character one of the craziest of all time.
Union Street is where she learned what it took to hold an innocent dance audience's attention during their performance.
In the square, shopping centres, at the church they danced. They made a life for themselves. They brought the city to life.
The taxi stopped next to her sister’s billboard where her book stared down onto the passes by and told them to buy Layla's book. It sat at the heart of the city. The place where they used to stand and promise each other to one day be on the billboard.
Marie stared at the billboard when they moved by it. She saw her standing there in her lacy black underwear with Edward standing on one side and Derek on the other. Her head turned over her shoulder to look at the camera.
She lent herself and her fame to help her sister’s book sell. Marie never imagined this.
The story where none of Marie’s secrets were left secret. She still couldn’t wrap her head around why her sister would do something like this to her. She wouldn’t know until her sister needed her help.
Edward was the former dancing groupie. He always wrestled and he attended their dance stuff out of interest. She got entangled with him when they’d been younger. He never let her forget it. Leaving her tickets at her hotels when they performed or worked the same towns. She never showed up, knowing how he’d treat her.
Moving through the city she saw her face on the other billboards and it made her warm inside. Standing in her dance gear, with the information below about Amber’s and their dance studio. It must have stood there for years and not one of the locals let the advert be replaced by something else.
A fuzzy feeling almost took over her, watching her image appearing in certain spots throughout the city. The city held more love than pain for her sometimes, as long as she allowed her mind to wonder.
She saw the people cheering when they spotted her going past and she pulled her hat down over her head, hoping she might just get some peace before they descended in on her.
This stood as a reminder just how much love she’d left behind her.
Coming through the winding streets she even noticed how Union Street seemed changed and out of this world. She stared at the shops and how the people were walking around with a different attitude. She’d missed this and LA still held her hostage. It told her she couldn’t take her time. She must keep pace with the city which never did anything slowly.
She tried to relax. LA had been home for far too long. Marie looked for the sea front and the concrete pier she wished to sit on.
The place where she told her first love that she loved him. Where she met her ex-husband one more time before he disappeared from her life for what felt like good.
Marie wanted to let the world drop away from her as she thought about how life may just change because of the future of Amber’s studio sitting on her and Derek’s shoulders. Amber looked to them to keep it afloat as they drew more and more business into the place. Amber believed without Derek and Marie the place would sink.
Putting more pressure on Marie as she hoped to put the dance world behind her years ago, instead she found others holding onto her and demanding more.
Amber wondered when the younger dancers were going to start listening to those who created these chances for them. A thought Marie shared with her half sister.
Pulling up at the concrete walkway Marie leaned forward and paid the man the twenty-five pounds along with a few extra pound coins for his hassle. She smiled at him making his day as she slipped out of the taxi and started to walk down the esplanade where she took in the sea. The cold North Sea wind ripped at her body, making her feel alive.
She raised her arms out from her sides and allowed the air to catch her. It felt an embraced from an old friend. For a moment she allowed it to whip her blood-red and black hair out of her face. She dyed it for the return home.
The ginger, blonde and black hair disappeared, she wouldn’t miss it. Marie caught herself in the reflections of the sea and she wondered how time had changed her.
Sitting across the road from Frankie Bernie’s she took in her new life. The actress, dancer and the twin sister to someone who’d lost the rules and morals they’d grown up with. She dumped her bag down and sat down on it as she dangled her legs off the end of the esplanade while she wrapped her arms around the railing.
Watching the sea coming in and going out. She held onto the railing tighter and she wished this place could be home again. Her life didn’t exist here as the leader to the next generation, disappointing wife. She got to just be Marie. She hated how she wasn’t going to know this place as she once did.
Marie missed this view and how it reminded her of the big world out there. The world she’d wanted to see and conquer. She came close in the States, and being in the place of flashing lights, fast-paced lifestyle told her just how hard it was at the top.
Learning how to make films as an actress, wasn’t easy and she soon found TV made life harder. She spent her time being stalked by TMZ and talking to the gossip channels who wanted to understand her move into Reality TV, which was due to start in the middle of her commercials launch.
She allowed the cameras into her life and she got a few days off on this advert before they descended on her again. She knew this TV show was more about getting back at her ex-husband than it was about fame.
A small city girl got lost in the flashy lights a long time ago.
The city may change; she also saw a lot of it still looked the same and she held onto what it meant to come from here. Aberdeen held onto her and she saw the same love the people always held for the place around them. For those who walked the streets and called this place home once before. She held it in her chest too. No matter where she went never forgot it.
“Thought you’d be here,” breathed the voice of the man who’d changed her life a few years ago when she got left in the middle of the night. The voice she’d been dying to hear.
He made her go from being such a free person to being someone caught up again within rules, her dance rules which Marie once loved and respected, now hated.
She didn’t need to turn around to meet his eyes to know she wasn’t ever going to be completely alone. For however long it lasted she got to be his.
Marie almost turned to greet him, however a part of her still felt mad at the idea of him accepting this Tourism advert contract without talking to her first. He didn’t know what he’d accepted or what else he asked her to take on by saying yes for them.
Making them return every year, like a constant reminder of where they’d come from. He got why she didn’t want to be here better than everyone else. He didn’t know the full story on the second part of the reason why she didn’t want to be here.
They lost their best friend here when he overdosed...
“Come on Marie don’t be mad at me, I brought you a coffee.” Derek spoke and she turned to face him reluctantly.
For the entire time she travelled here she couldn’t get her hands on a decent cup of coffee. Her one weakness and she’d need to give it up for the next few days when they did the dance lifting and performing parts of the tourism advert. The dance lifts required her to be on her game. She knew what it took to do some of the fancier dance lifts perfectly.
“You’ve got to understand a coffee isn’t going to cut it this time Derek. This place has a lot of old wounds for me.” Marie breathed when she accepted the cup and sipped at it.
Derek slipped into the spot next to her and allowed his legs to hang over the esplanade. He wrapped his arm around her back and moved closer towards her. His entire body trying to suck her into its warm embrace.
“I’ve got old wounds here too Marie. It’s not about us or what we feel like we’ve got to do. Aberdeen needs us to do this. Heck Amber needs us to do this.” Derek shared his rational thoughts, his logic and what he said made sense. She couldn’t argue with it and when it came to getting her to do what he wanted, Derek relied on logic, because it made it harder for her to argue with him.
Marie saw his logical point and knew Derek was right about this being the next step in the right direction.
His baseball hat covered his head and a thick fleece made him look adorable again as he sat next to her. She’d missed him and a part of her hated how close they’d gotten.
How close they were in the past and yet she chose the man she did before Derek.
“I thought we’d be done with this.” Marie kept her eyes staring out at the sea in front of her, knowing if she stared into those big brown eyes she’d crack.
His five o’clock shadow started to already creep back onto his face and his broad shoulders reminded her why she’d got so attached to him. She’d not admit aloud, she looked to be protected. He never let her down and she put her life into his hands every time she flew off the ground.
His hands were all that connected her to the earth sometimes.
Derek did far more than just lift or bend her into dangerous lifts. He opened up her mind and he made her see the world around her. He challenged her and made her feel less alone. He made her a better person and made her face her demons. She made him face his and they were clean together.
They got close after the death of Robert, their best friend. The first boyfriend Marie ever had.
Derek was there when her marriage went down in a ball of flames and they always feared what might have happened if the two of them hadn’t been as close.
Derek’s sister passed on just before Marie’s husband left her and they were to be bonded together for life. He called on her as much as she had done with Robert’s death.
They’d bottled up their grief and when they pushed it into dance, they’d use it to get through the battles. Storylines came too close to the bone with what they endured.
Kayla didn’t miss a chance to turn anything into a story and a dance battle.
“Is this about Layla?” He asked and Marie turned to face him. His hand reached up and stroked her cold cheek with his thick, strong hands. His eyes casting nothing other than hope and love over her. She knew she didn’t deserve the look in the depths of those eyes. He always shared everything with her.
“Sort of. I’m worried about Layla. I don’t like her being mixed up in WWIC without us. We are the only original crew members left.” Marie tossed her words at him and he took them in.
His head nodded along with her wisdom and she hated how he refused to talk about those they lost along this journey.
They shared everything and this became the reason why they’d lasted through the dance battles, demons and death. For every Street Dancer knew what it meant to lose their friends to drugs, alcohol, steroids or worse things.
Both Derek and Marie knew the time had come to leave the Street Dancing world’s circuit. The hardest place where couples broke down due to lack of trust and the stunts they did. Somehow, after Marie made it through the heartbreak, she found Derek waiting for her.
“Then take the film offer and let’s be there,” he suggested with the light and airy voice. He didn’t understand what this would do to them if she took it, because she hadn’t told him about her ex-husband.
How could she tell him the news which would end them and their world?
He moved his rucksack so it gave them something to rest against. Slowly he pulled her into his arms. Being close and able to be themselves didn’t happen very often. She missed this greatly.
In LA all of the old crews floated about and they couldn’t be out together. The LA crews didn’t bond as well as the older ones did. So the members they worked with ratted everyone out. She watched them do it first-hand.
If her ex heard about Derek it wasn’t just the dance world they would need to fear. They couldn’t be seen to be hanging out together, period, and only here did they risk it. Here however they could be together as no one bothered them and none of the other dancers were around here anymore.
Most of the dancers moved on when the hype died out after the twins left.
Marie believed they should have left dance when they went to university. Instead they took off to new cities and tried to breathe life into their type of Street Dance. What most of the dancers didn’t know was Marie and Layla studied in the States.
A part of her often wondered where she and Derek might be if they had not sworn to put the others first. She looked at Derek for any signs he’d been thinking about this too. She doubted it since he stole her heart after she fought him off for years.
Now he focused on holding onto her.
A part of Derek looked out for Jay for he believed he might try to take her away from him. His need for her managed to sucked her in. Derek looked after Marie and not just on the floor.
But In real life.
Better than anyone else.
“She hasn’t asked me to be there. If I turn up she’s going to push me away further, because she’ll think I’m keeping an eye on her.” Voicing her thoughts about her sister made Marie’s stomach tense, since they’d been born they had always been close. Life changed them and the way they lived life together, when Layla started to date Cameron.
After her mother died, Marie took a beating and Layla found someone else she trusted more than her sister.
Layla’s most recent boyfriend, Cameron somehow made everyone feel like he flipped Layla’s personality. Like he found some switch hidden within her and even Amber hadn’t known what made Layla change so fast.
Amber always remained their mutual best friend. She knew how Layla worked and she managed to keep the twins together. When Kayla pushed them to the brink the pair found a sympathetic woman who suffered at their mentor’s hands. Kayla’s creative genesis hurt all those who cared about her or lived near her.
The whole dance world noticed the change in Marie's and Amber's sister and worried about Layla collectively. Too many of them already fell to stupid things, they didn’t want to see another one fall.
Drugs claimed too many lives and that was just the tip of the iceberg of what went on. The dives were the least of their worries now. No matter the past, the dance community stood by each other.
“You’re as bad as each other. She will call, but you can’t hold the changes against her, Marie,” Derek advised and though Marie nodded along with him, she didn’t believe in what he suggested.
Far from it.
Marie thought about how she needed to be there to stop the wrestlers from overwhelming her sister. Using her for whatever sick games they could think of or the bullying she expected them to use against Layla. Protecting Layla against herself. This is what Marie spent her entire life doing.
Kayla made the rule years ago that they couldn’t do dealings with wrestlers and stay dancers. She made this rule after one of their dancers turned up badly hurt by one. She’d been emotionally scarred and this left a reputation, which shadowed the wrestlers ever since.
A bad taste got left behind in the mouths of fellow dancers afterwards. So bad was the after taste that many dancers wouldn’t do promotional events in bars or nightclubs which supported wrestlers.
Marie spoke out against these rules and kept pointing out the truth about the girl in question being a gold digger who got hurt due to her own needs. She ended up starting a heated series of battles where she was forced to lose.
A silent turf war between the two sides. A war none of them wanted any part of.
Despite Kayla being dead,. none of them broke the rules she left behind and none were overturned. They did it out of respect for her memory and Marie knew what the reactions were to these sorts of situations. She listened, trying to be a ghost in their world.
Marie helped build the dance world with her own two bare hands. The art form she broke her body for and spent days wondering why she fought for people who were no longer there.
To see Layla just throw this all away, made a lot of dancers’ angry and when some of them asked Marie why, she took the brunt of the anger left behind.
Layla bred a new level of anger and hate into the situation. She hadn’t just wanted to turn the wrestling world upside, she made the dance world feel the same way. She’d completely torn apart everyone who ever knew her.
Marie and Derek faced the brunt of what Layla still created in the aftermath with what snippets of the book had been leaked. Whatever made Layla, her sister do this Marie almost believed it lay in the hands of the man, her sister turned her world around for.
He’d been made a part of the KittyKat dance crew briefly after Layla and Marie busted their asses to get him in. Marie put her neck on the line for him. Marie hadn’t done it for him.
She put everything she processed into it for Layla. She always cared about her sister’s happiness first and foremost. Even after Marie treated Layla so badly when their mother passed on. Layla always meant the world to her and still did. Only she would find out much later on what Cameron’s deal was and when Derek got involved their secret almost got exposed.
Being dance partners didn’t mean they could be lovers. Kayla made a rule about how dancers couldn’t date, not when they were a part of her dance crew for it led to many problems. Trust just didn’t exist in the dance network they worked in.
Kayla barely managed her childhood romance with Mike and so many times dancers let her relationship slide, because she’d been the one to form the dance network in the first place.
They created the battles and helped to make it something other than pipe-dream. It breathed its first breathe in Aberdeen.
The backwaters of Scotland. Only known as the hub and portal to the North Sea Oil industry.
For young people it became the place where the best dancers in the UK came from. Where dancers flew through the air, hung over balconies in chains, dived off DJ booths and sometimes went through tables, bars.
Marie and Layla took no prisoners when the twins did the talking pieces of the dance events. Derek made her fly like she had invisible wings on her back and Kayla formed teams no one could match. Layla seemed to bring everything she did to life. The two liked to let the world around them know what it took to be them.
They liked to make sure they knew just how far they would go to protect their titles, reputations and each other. The four of them ran Scotland.
“Is this about Cameron?” Derek asked, drawing Marie’s attention back to the reality around her. She wanted to escape all thoughts of her sister’s man. The man held too many dark sides to him and she hated the way he could make Layla always agree with him.
Marie felt her phone ringing in her pocket and she knew who called her. She didn’t even need to look anymore. She shook her head before she rose to her feet. Her words offering a better option.
“I think it’s time we head back to my place and get ready for tomorrow.” The look changed on Derek’s face. Marie saw him think about the chance to be close to her, in a way they hadn’t been for so long.
“Now how can I say no to this idea?” Derek picked Marie up into his arms and for a moment everything seemed right. Light filled her life and her chest. She thought of not an ounce of darkness or the tests which lay ahead of her. He lifted her away from her problems.
She squealed with delight and for a quick moment, Aberdeen just became its old self again. The safe and happy place they once knew. The place where they were free.
Dark thoughts couldn’t be further from their mind as Derek captured Marie’s lips underneath his. Soaking up every ounce of fun and love their lives offered them.