Some pranks are fairly harmless, some push things a little too far and some are just way out of line.
And while couples pranking each other has become an internet trend lately, it’s usually between couples in a happy relationship, where the jokes are light-hearted and fun.
However, when someone is unaware they’re being pranked, and has committed to a relationship thinking the other person felt the same way, the outcome can be heartbreaking.
To add insult to injury, when it’s a long distance relationship, and someone has forked out hundreds of pounds to fly hundreds of miles to see the other person, it’s just cruel.
Unfortunately, this is what happened to 24-year-old Sophie Stevenson when she met Jesse Mateman on holiday in Barcelona.
The two kept in touch, with Sophie believing the relationship had proper potential. So after Barcelona, she decided to visit Jesse in his hometown of Amsterdam.
Sophie, from Stoke, made the £350 journey but was left devastated when Jesse failed to show up at the airport, despite being in contact up until that moment.
She claims she only heard from Jesse six hours later, when she arrived at her hotel and he had text her to tell her she’d been the victim of a cruel prank known as ‘pigging’.
The message, which featured pig emojis, read:
You were pigged. It was a joke.
Sophie and Jesse had been in contact right up until she departed for Amsterdam, but as soon as she arrived he started ignoring her.
We were talking up until I got on the plane. But when I arrived, he wasn’t there to pick me up.
I called him a bunch of times, and he didn’t answer. I waited at the airport for two hours and I hadn’t heard anything, I was really starting to panic about being abandoned.
There was a free shuttle bus to the hotel, so I made my way there and six hours later he finally messaged me – on Snapchat.
Sophie told of her horror at reading Jesse’s vicious messages:
‘Pulling a pig’ is where a guy tries to pull the fat ugly girl. When I saw that message, I wanted to be sick.
I was in a foreign country, on my own and the guy that I liked had just abandoned me.
I replied and said ‘how could you be so cruel’ and all he did was block me. I just couldn’t believe it. I had no way of contacting him. I was petrified being in Amsterdam all on my own.
Sophie flew back home the next day, where she told her mum what had happened.
Speaking to MailOnline, Sophie’s mum, Julie, said:
It is a good job this lad lives in Holland because if he was here I’d string him up. Why would any man do that to a woman? It is just heartless.
I couldn’t believe it and felt devastated for Sophie as she had so been looking forward to the trip. I told her to get on the first plane home.
She has been humiliated by that man and I don’t know why? Why would he go to such lengths to string her along for all this time?
What a horrendous ordeal for Sophie! Clearly this guy is the problem and not her, let’s hope she sees this for what it really is – a reflection on Jesse Mateman and not her.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.