WHEN Tilly Muzik’s long distance lover asked her to move 120 miles to be with him, she thought all their problems were sorted.
But the Blackpool barmaid was in for the shock of her life when she caught her man cheating with his ex-girlfriend – on the CCTV at her stepdad’s pub.
Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, the 22-year-old, from Lancashire, tells her story…
When I met my boyfriend Tom at a music festival, the only blot on the horizon was the distance between us.
I lived in Blackpool, while Tom lived 120 miles away on the Isle of Man.
“Come to the island with me,” Tom suggested one Sunday night, when he was about to travel home after a lovely weekend together in Blackpool.
At first I was hesitant – it was a big decision and would mean moving away from all my friends.
But when my stepdad offered me a job at a pub he ran on the island, it seemed fate was telling me something.
A few weeks later, I flew over and moved into the flat above the pub.
I loved my new life with Tom but the small, tight-knit community meant that Tom’s ex was a constant presence in our lives.
There were cameras all over the pub – if Tom had been here with his ex it would have been caught on film
Tilly Muzik, barmaid
Working in the local pub, I was at the hub of all the community gossip.
When one of the regulars told me he’d seen Tom flirting with his ex, I knew I had to confront him.
A mutual friend sent me screenshots of texts between Tom and his ex and, as I read through the flirty messages, my worst fears were confirmed.
Tom initially denied it, but when I sent him the proof he rang me in tears.
“I’m so sorry,” he sobbed. Tom explained they hadn’t broken up that long ago and he wasn’t sure how serious we were at the time.
We had a huge row and I considered returning to the mainland but we agreed to work through it and, six months later, we were back on track.
A year after moving to the island, I’d just finished clearing up when the bar manager asked for a pint.
I was handing her a drink, when she casually dropped a bombshell. “I’m sure I remember seeing Tom in here with his ex,” she said.
When I quizzed her on the date, she said it was around six months ago.
My mind raced. That was when I’d caught Tom texting his ex and we’d had that huge row, but he’d sworn they hadn’t seen each other.
I told her she was wrong, but my boss was adamant.
It was a grainy image of the car park, but there was no mistaking Tom and his ex – in a steamy clinch
“There’s one way we can be sure,” my stepdad piped up. “Why don’t we look at the CCTV footage from the time?”
There were cameras all over the pub – if Tom had been here with his ex it would have been caught on film.
But what were the chances of finding that one moment the bar manager remembered seeing them? It was going to be like finding a needle in a haystack.
I needn’t have worried. My stepdad had his tapes all laid out like a library.
“I need to keep things straight in case there’s ever any trouble and police need to check the footage,” he shrugged.
Quick as a flash, he’d found the video from the night in question, and popped it into the player.
People buzzed around as he fast forwarded through the evening – but there was no sight of Tom.
I was about to breathe a huge sigh of relief, when I spotted him.
It was a grainy image of the car park, but there was no mistaking Tom… and his ex.
They were outside in the smoking area, but it was obvious they had other things on their mind.
The pair were up against the wall in a steamy clinch and although I couldn’t bear to watch any more, my stepdad was glued to the screen.
“They left together, holding hands. I’m sorry Tilly,” he said afterwards. I was angry and confused, but most of all I was humiliated.
The bar manager looked on, horrified. “I thought you knew, I’m so sorry,” she stammered. I stumbled out of the pub, barely able to look at anyone.
I went up to my room and collapsed on the floor, crying my eyes out.
My best friend rushed over to soothe me and advised me to confront Tom. “You deserve the truth,” she said.
“How could you lie to me?” I texted Tom but he asked what I was talking about – so I rang him, furious.
“You lied to me!” I yelled, but Tom denied everything.
“We’ve been through all this before, Tilly. Why are you bringing it up again now?” he spat, defensive.
Inconsolable, I was too upset to talk and so my friend grabbed the phone from me and put it on loudspeaker.
“We’ve seen the CCTV footage of you and your ex. You were caught on camera,” she said.
After minutes of agonising silence, Tom eventually croaked out “I’m so sorry”.
But I’d heard enough and hung up the phone.
We were young, it was at the very beginning of mine and Tilly’s relationship and we had a strong relationship for the best part of two years after that.
It was forgotten about, I had a moment of weakness and made a mistake.
Did I feel bad about it back then? Of course I did, it haunted me for a while and I did everything I could to build that trust back.
Do I feel bad about it now? Not particularly, we’ve moved on, live totally different and separate lives now. It’s the past.
For the next month, desperate to win me back, Tom went into romance overdrive.
Chocolates and flowers were waiting outside my door at the end of every shift at the pub.
He bombarded me with texts and phone calls, begging for a second chance.
Tom showed he was willing to do anything to salvage our relationship and for a while, we did try to make a go of it.
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We even got our own place together, but ultimately the trust was gone and we eventually split for good.
Now I’ve met a new man, Shane, and were engaged. I’ve moved on but I’ll never forget the day CCTV caught Tom cheating on camera.
Last week, we spoke to a woman who set a honeytrap on Facebook to test her baby daddy – then he asked ‘her’ for a date while she was making their son’s dinner.