HARBOURONE UNIVERSITY WAS newly built and far from where he worked, but Veer travelled the one-and-a-half-hour distance everyday.
His cousin Shanaya went there too to study business administration while Kiara was studying medicine.
So far, his neighbour didn’t seem to show any signs of being possessed by an evil witch.
Kiara had lost some weight since she was in high school. Her hair was longer, almost down to her waist, and possibly dyed a light brown. Her skin seemed paler and she wore red lipstick and bright red nail polish. Her clothes clung to every curve and she always wore the same dark boots regardless of her outfit. He supposed it had to do with the heels on the boot that were a good three to four inches.
Every time he saw her outside the building, she was with a different guy, talking, laughing, flirting. On social media, she seemed to have many friends, mostly men, and he had cringed at the way they wrote flirty comments under each picture she posted; even if it was a cup of fancy coffee.
Veer parked his motorcycle across HarbourOne University and entered the gates. The security guard knew him by now. Veer had visited the Dean and professors three months ago to talk to them about writing some articles to promote the university.
The faculty had been impressed with his charming demeanor, enough to put them at ease and happy to be interviewed by him.
Veer promised individual articles on each professor, promising the Dean that he would help promote the University so that the locals would choose it over going abroad.
So far, his ploy worked, but it wouldn’t be long before he would run out of excuses to hang around the university and keep an eye on Kiara. He had to find another way.
He looked at the time. It was almost eleven o’clock. Kiara would be finishing off with one of her lectures and coming out with a guy to go get coffee.
Five minutes after eleven, she emerged, arm in arm with a guy that didn’t look the same from yesterday. She was giggling and squeezing the guy’s bicep. The guy in question seemed to live in a gym. He wore a vest even though it was late autumn and getting cooler.
The breeze swept away at her hair and as Kiara pushed her hair back, he felt certain she had looked in his direction.
Veer quickly moved away from behind a tree, hoping she hadn’t recognized him. If she had, she didn’t look around, nor notice his change in position. Her attention was centered on the guy again, pressing closer against him.
He must have uttered a joke because Kiara laughed, and moved away a little to slap his forearm. Her movement caused her to move back and bump into the gardener, an elderly woman with a handkerchief tied around her head and wearing a worn-out dress.
Kiara turned around, her eyes wide. She took the older woman’s hands and talked to her before patting her arm. The guy seemed annoyed that attention was taken away from him for a few seconds but Kiara didn’t care as she smiled kindly at the woman.
The old woman walked away with a smile that exposed her crooked yellowed teeth. Kiara returned to the guy and said something which caused the guy to smile.
Veer turned around and followed her from a distance. She would be going to the cafe across the street, getting a double espresso while whatever guy she was with would be getting something fancy with too many ingredients.
This time the guy ordered a herbal tea while she had her regular double espresso. The barista seemed to recognize Kiara and greeted her with a smile. Another barista came over, a guy that seemed a little older than Kiara. He was thin and his face dotted with acne. He stared at Kiara with a goofy smile, obviously harbouring a little crush on her.
But he was short, and too thin. Kiara didn’t seem to go for guys like him. Nevertheless, she took her coffee from him with a smile that made the scrawny guy swoon.
Kiara’s new boyfriend seemed annoyed but appreciated a table outside and away from the other guy’s ogling.
Veer ordered a decaf and sipped as he walked around the cafe for a bit, pretending to look for a table before venturing outside and taking a seat far behind Kiara.
He sat down and rubbed his forehead. He wanted to sleep. Nari had beckoned him at four in the morning to learn the rituals. Last night he had slept at one after working on an article he needed to submit at work.