The Last Emperors.
Chapter one: Sworn to secrecy.
By Jolie Adam
Lorra came out of the drycleaners with three different coloured hooded sweatshirts, thankful it was a Saturday. She looked left and right, checking for any oncoming cars before making a dash on the usually busy avenue. The 151 bus was scheduled to arrive within a couple of minutes so she stood right on the edge of the road looking in its incoming direction. With her spare hand, she adjusted her headphones back on and pressed play.
“Deception is the only felony, so never fuck nobody without telling me. Sunglasses and Advil, last night was mad real”. Lorra bobbed her head rhythmically as she smiled in agreement with Kanye. Last night was mad real. She’d attended the biggest underground dance battle in Paris with fresh talent and veterans alike. The Last Emperors dominated every single battle. The city’s art world’s rumour mill would be burning today with the new conquerors of street dance. It was nights like those that made Lorra love dance so much that she wanted to breathe the art every second of the day. No fights, no biased judges, no sore losers, just a community of dancers getting together to do what they did best. There was nothing but the floor and sweat and passion. Cheers, support, laughter and approving nods. Her enigmatic smile didn’t falter as she stepped into the bus, seizing the first available seat she saw. It was a long ride back to Pantin which suited her just fine. Sharing an apartment with two girls was sometimes very overwhelming. As much as Lorra loved Dawn and Julia, sharing everything had its limits. She needed moments like these, time alone to think, regroup, breathe, smile into the open if she desired – without being interrogated or bugged. Whether it was just an hour or two running errands solo, or going to the studio for practice or the rare moment when she found herself home alone, Lorra treasured the little pieces of peace and tranquility. That being said, there were many perks to living with two amazing girls. Besides the fact that Julia was good at everything from hairstyling to tailoring, Dawn was a complete neat-freak, borderline OCD and would freak out at the sight of dust or dirt inside the home. Being the eldest at 24, she was mature beyond her years, beautiful in a serene way, with soft features and a tall, willowy frame. She was the mother figure of the group despite the fact that she looked the youngest. It was those looks that helped pay their bills since Dawn moonlighted as a model. Now that their combined passions were finally reaping financial rewards and social recognition, Dawn did more practice than posing. Living with them came with perks that every girl desire. When they weren’t dressed to battle and actually needed to dress their gender, Julia would have inimitable fashion pairings ready for them to wear. And Dawn would take care of the makeup. Years as a model taught her many skills of the trade and she could make anyone look lush and glamorous under the strictest time restrictions. That came in extremely handy when they wanted to go out and socialize after their battles. It was one thing to dominate in the limelight and it was another to be treated equally off-stage. At the end of the day, they were young women in every single sense of the word. Except they each had double personalities and all six of those personalities had sworn to secrecy.