Eyes meet across the room. The bustling café filled with numerous students each buying their lunch or just socialising in a warm place, some hiding their contraband from other stores beneath the table and looking round expecting an angry patrolling barista to instantly eject them from the nearest exit. It was evident I was not welcome here, her stares like shards of ice, cutting and slicing me from the inside out. I imagine everyone else as just a background noise – they don’t exist whilst I’m locked in a silent engagement with the girl across the room. People are just a minor distraction, interrupting her paralysing gaze. My friends are all laughing and joking, sat around a table (as are hers), but like everybody else, they don’t exist to me right now. The steam from the coffees rise and cause a veil of smoke to be drawn between us. She is first to break the vicious stare. In that moment, I am free and I choose that time to escape and flee from the busy and stuffy room. Down the stairs and out the front door. Into the pouring rain.