Smile! You're on Love-Rat Cam!

There was something familiar about that snogging couple...

Published by: Jemma Gillard and Isabelle Loynes
Published on: 28 February 2013

Snipping away with the scissors, his face was a picture of concentration as he trimmed my long dark mane. Then he got to work with the hairdryer, teasing it into soft perfect waves.
‘What do you think?' he beamed at me.
‘It looks amazing,' I gushed.
Then, I hopped up and planted a big kiss on his lips.
‘I wish I got this treatment from all my customers,' Connor grinned, happily.
‘Oi, cheeky!' I said. ‘I'm the only one you should be getting kisses from.'
My boyfriend Connor, 20, was a hairdresser and he'd often pop round to cut and style my locks.
Since meeting in a nightclub three years earlier, we'd been inseparable. Connor wasn't like most guys that I'd been out with before. He shared my love of fashion, so instead of complaining about going shopping, he was only too happy to trawl the high street.
We loved going on nights out together, too.
He'd recently passed his driving test and we were always slipping off on romantic drives along the coast. I couldn't have been happier.
But after almost three years together, I noticed a change.
‘What do you fancy doing this weekend?' I'd ask.
‘Oh, I'm going to be busy,' he'd mutter.
I didn't mind him spending time with his friends but, as weeks passed, I was seeing less and less of him.
So, I was pleased when he suggested a night out at the cinema - just the two of us. This is more like it, I thought, as I snuggled into his chest while we watched the film.
On the way home in the car, I started thinking about my 20th birthday that was coming up the following week.
‘Would you cut my hair before the big day?' I asked, examining my tresses in the mirror.
‘Yes, of course,' he smiled. ‘What sort of style do you want?'
‘Just a couple of inches off I think,' I replied.
‘No problem,' he said. ‘And why don't I take you out for a posh meal to celebrate on the day?'
Pleased that he was being so thoughtful, I jumped at the chance to spend some quality time together.
‘That would be brilliant,' I beamed.
The year before, I'd had a big night out with family and friends, but this time I was happy with the idea of it being just me and Connor.
A nice romantic dinner is exactly what we need to get us back on track, I thought.
On the evening of my birthday, I spent hours perfecting my make-up. With my brand new dress and a pair of glam high heels, I felt really special.
Looking at the clock, Connor wasn't due to pick me up for another hour. So, as I started to curl my hair, I clicked on to Facebook on my laptop to pass the time.
Babylon, one of the local nightclubs, usually posted photos from the previous weekend and they always made me giggle. So I started flicking through them, keeping my eyes peeled for anyone I knew. It was a great way to spot my friends doing something that they shouldn't.
‘I might even see Connor,' I thought, remembering he'd been there with his friends the previous weekend.
So when I found an image of the whole crowd, I scanned the photo for him.
Suddenly, my heart leapt. The smile disappeared from my face as I stared at the computer screen in shock. I couldn't believe what I was seeing...
There, in the crowd shot, I could see a bloke in a white jumper. It was Connor. But he wasn't mucking about with friends. He was with a blonde girl, and they were getting a bit too cosy for my liking. I zoomed in for a closer look. And there was no mistaking it... he was clearly locking lips with her.
‘No, that can't be my boyfriend there,' I cried, staring at the screen in horror.
Although I couldn't see most of his face, it was definitely Connor. He obviously hadn't realised that the picture was being taken.
Because he was too busy snogging the face off some blonde, I raged to myself.
But still, I couldn't believe he'd do this to me. I started to think maybe it was a trick of the light. Or perhaps the angle just made it look like he was kissing her. My head was spinning.
There was only one way to get to the bottom of it. So I carried on getting ready.
Soon there was a knock at the door.
I did my best to act as if everything was fine. It was my birthday and I didn't want to spoil the evening by starting a row.
We soon arrived at a posh Italian restaurant. But sitting amongst romantic candles and other loved-up couples, my blood started to boil. By the time the waiter placed my risotto in front of me, I couldn't hold it in any longer.
‘I was looking at the nightclub pictures from last weekend,' I said, ‘And I spotted you.'
‘Oh really?' Connor replied, tucking into his lasagne.
‘Yes,' I snapped. ‘You were having a great time - snogging another woman!'
As Connor started shifting nervously in his seat, I pulled out my phone and found the incriminating image. The blood drained from his face as he sat in silence studying the photo.
‘I wasn't kissing her,' he said eventually. ‘I was just whispering in her ear, that's all.'
‘Don't lie to me!' I screamed. The whole restaurant fell silent as people turned to look at us. But by this point, I was too furious to care.
‘I wouldn't be that stupid to kiss someone in front of a camera,' he hissed angrily.
My birthday had been ruined. We went home and I continued quizzing Connor. But he kept denying doing anything wrong.
I loved him, so I hoped that I'd been mistaken.
The next day, fed up with my questioning, Connor went off to his friend's house. After he'd left, I picked up my laptop to find he'd left his Facebook page open. This was my chance to find out what he'd really been up to...
My heart was thumping as I started reading through his messages. Then I found one from a girl with blonde hair. She looked a lot like the woman from the nightclub photo.
I can't wait to see you tonight, it read.
This was all the proof I needed that he'd been up to no good. I burst into tears.
That afternoon when Connor came back, I was determined not to listen to any more of his lies.
‘I'm not being treated like a fool,' I shouted at him. ‘I've read your Facebook messages. You've been seeing someone behind my back.'
‘No,' he protested. ‘You have it all wrong.'
‘I've seen the evidence,' I spluttered. ‘You were kissing that girl. And you've been arranging to meet up with her.'
‘Okay, okay' he moaned. ‘I did kiss her, I'm sorry. But that's all it was. I haven't been seeing her.'
‘It's over,' I cried.
He begged for a second chance but there was no going back.
It's been a year since me and Connor broke up. I've moved away to study dance and I'm happy being single for now.
I recently celebrated my 21st birthday and, thankfully, there were no nasty surprises this time. However, I don't think anything could ever top my cheating crimper getting caught on camera!

• Connor Morley, 21, says:
‘I sort of cheated on her and she found out. I didn't want to admit it to her but we're moving on.'

Emily Hackett, 21, Slough, Berkshire