Sierra.

The 1st name at the top of his text message screen, the last person he had texted.

As I scrolled through the messages I got sick to my stomach. He had been texting her the entire time we had cell service on the ship.

He wrote to her, “I was sitting on the balcony last night thinking of all of the things I wanted to do to you.”

I cried.

He had been sitting on the balcony with me.

He wrote to her, “I saw a girl in the club that looked just like you.”

I cried.

He was talking about the girl he called hot in front of me.

I scrolled through dozens of texts. I saw her picture.

I was crying, I was shaking, I was in shock. Even though I knew something was up, and I had my suspicions, confirming that my boyfriend was cheating on me was excruciating.

I finally dragged myself back to the pool, threw his book on the table and told him I was going back to the room.

He saw my face and asked me what was wrong?

I screamed at him, “Who the fuck is Sierra????”

He put his head down.

“Do I need to get tested??”

“No.”

I ran.

For the next hour I cried, I screamed, I moaned, I shook, I kept screaming over and over again, “How could you do this to me?” and “Why?”

He told me it was nothing. “Just a text message thing. We never hung out.”

“Bullshit!” I screamed. “You’ve been a piece of shit boyfriend for months, there is no way in hell that you haven’t seen this girl.”

I was craving to know who she was. I needed to know. How old is she? How did you meet her? When did you meet her? What does she do for a living? Where does she live? Who were you with when you met her?

Some questions he answered. Most he didn’t.

More lies.

At some point Matt couldn’t stand hearing my crying so he left the room.

I picked up the phone not giving a fuck that it was going to cost me $6.00/minute and called my mom.

Matt returned to the room while I was on the phone. I hung up with my mom and he asked me, “You called your mom?”

“Yeah you piece of shit I called my mom. I’m on a boat in the middle of the fucking ocean with no one to talk to.”

With that, Matt started packing. He was getting his own room.

5 minutes later he was gone.

I was alone.

Day 6

I cried.
I slept.
I cried.
I slept.
I cried.
I watched TV.
I slept.
I cried.
I watched TV.
I cried.
I watched TV.
I slept.
I cried.
I watched TV.
I slept.
I cried.
I watched TV.
I slept.
I cried.
I watched TV.
I slept.
I cried.
I watched TV.
I slept.

It was the longest most miserable 24 hours of my life. I was in hell.

Day 7

I saw Matt as we were getting off of the ship. I asked him when he would come pick up his shit from my apartment. He said he would be there later that day.

I got into a cab and headed home.

I walked into my apartment.

I was numb.

We were over.

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My boyfriend stopped fucking me. Even when I begged him to, he didn’t.

My boyfriend stopped telling me I was beautiful.

My boyfriend stopped talking about the future.

My boyfriend was always texting…someone.

My boyfriend starting going out with his friends on the weekends, I was never invited.

My boyfriend came over after work one day without gel in his hair…he said he had ran out.

My boyfriend spent his birthday with his friends, I took him out the next night.

My boyfriend had stopped kissing me.

My boyfriend didn’t answer my 20 phone calls and texts the day I found out I had pneumonia.

My boyfriend left me home alone when I had pneumonia so that he could watch the Super Bowl at a bar.

I wasn’t a complete idiot. I knew something was up. But I didn’t want to believe that my boyfriend of 3 ½ years, the man I thought I’d marry and start a family with, didn’t love me anymore.

In January 2012, I asked Matt if he’d like to go on vacation. He seemed excited about it and we decided on a 7-day cruise that left out of NY that stopped in Florida and the Bahamas.

I thought by him saying yes, that he hadn’t given up on us. This was our opportunity to get the spark back.

Day 1

From the moment we stepped onto the ship, I knew this vacation wasn’t going to be the romantic get-away I had hoped for. I watched all of the other couples in love, holding hands and being happy. Seeing them made me sad…I knew we weren’t like them anymore. For a long time we were happy and in love…but that love was gone now…and I didn’t know why.

Day 2

Matt got plastered. 10 double scotches later we headed to the club to dance with another couple we had met earlier that day.

Matt was bombed. He was sloppy. He kept telling me on the dance floor how much he loved me. Do drunks tell the truth? That’s what I’d been told.

As I helped him off the dance floor because he could barely stand, he walked right up to a girl and told her how hot she was. I was standing right next to him.

I tried to get him to go back to the room with me.

Matt was always a mean drunk and refused to leave. He told me to go fuck myself and then pushed me away from him.

I caught the eye of the bouncer. I knew he saw Matt push me. I was humiliated.

I headed back to the room. Matt followed me. I told him to come to bed. He told me he wanted food. I told him he was too drunk to walk around the boat and that security would find him.

He told me to go fuck myself, again. I slammed the door in his face and got into bed crying.

Two minutes later I heard the key in the door. Security had escorted him back to the room.

Matt passed out.

Then he started throwing up.

I was cleaning up my boyfriend’s puke at 2am trying to figure how I had become this girl.

Day 3

The next day I woke up and Matt was still passed out. I woke him, told him I was going to eat breakfast and then head to the pool. I told him to come find me.

I called my mom. I called my sister. I called Wendy. Everyone told me the same thing. Get off the boat! I was still in Florida so all I had to do was pack my bags and go to the airport.

I stayed.

By 1pm Matt still hadn’t found me.

I grabbed my things and went back to the room.

The first thing I noticed was an empty pint of Guinness on the bed stand. Apparently he couldn’t find me at the pool but he didn’t have a problem finding the bar.

I woke him. I ordered room service to try to sober him up.

He could barely keep his eyes open.

“Where were you all day? I told you to meet me at the pool.”

“I tried looking but I couldn’t find you so I went to the bar.”

“You obviously didn’t try that hard, the ship isn’t that big. I don’t want you drinking anymore. You need to sober up and give your body a rest.”

“That’s not gonna happen.”

Later that night we sat down for dinner. Matt apologized. I asked him, “For what? For getting drunk? For cursing at me? For pushing me? For flirting with another girl in front of me? For getting sick in the room? For making me spend the day alone?”

“For everything.” he said.

After the apology, he left me sitting at the dinner table alone because he was hung over and felt sick.

“I’ll just add this to the list.” I told him.

For the 2nd time that day I ate alone.

Day 4

Although Matt refrained from another drinking binge, the vacation had already been ruined. I tried to make the best of it but I was so angry and hurt. It was impossible. We were two strangers sleeping in the same room. There was nothing to say, we barely spoke.

Day 5.

We were at the pool when Matt told me that he had finished his book and I offered to go back to the room to get him another one.

I walked into the room, grabbed his book and then I saw it…his IPhone.

For the first time EVER, Matt was without his phone.

The phone he never let me use. The phone he would only ever charge on the opposite side of the room. The phone that was always put face down on the table when not in use.

With my heart racing and my hands shaking, I typed in the password that I had to beg for him to tell me months earlier (because I would not be in a relationship with a guy who’s cell phone password I didn’t know).

Surprisingly, the phone unlocked and then I saw it….