In Her Eyes
By Wesley Banks
When Ben Wilder is given a second chance he focuses on the one thing he's always been good at: running. After walking on to the University of Florida Track and Field team he begins to quickly move up the national rankings, paving a path towards the NCAA Championships. Everything is going the way he planned, until the day he bumps into Casey Taylor.
New to Gainesville, and focused on her first year out of medical school, Casey is initially hesitant to let Ben into her life. But the truth is she's worried about letting a guy near the one thing she loves most: her daughter, Emma. After one fun and fateful night Casey can no longer bury her feelings behind these excuses, and takes a chance on a guy she is slowly falling for.
Casey's relationship with Ben starts to gradually build into a love that she has never felt before. But more importantly, Emma has taken a particular liking to Ben. As they all spend more time together Ben is forced to confront painful memories when he starts to notice something hauntingly familiar in Emma's eyes.
After a local journalist uncovers the secret of Ben's past their lives begin to converge on a single promise that Ben Wilder has long since made: to never give up...no matter what.
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Ben took a seat in one of the blue leather chairs across from his desk. To Ben’s right was a brunette lady sitting against the adjacent wall, wearing a black pantsuit with a white blouse, and clutching a leather bound notebook.
“You wanted to see me, Coach?” Ben said, ignoring the woman in the room for the moment.
Coach didn’t say anything at first, he just leaned back in his chair and folded his hands in his lap. He looked annoyed about something.
“Ben, this is Claire Stewart,” Coach said. He didn’t motion at the woman, or even look at her. He just stared straight ahead at Ben.
Ben looked over at Ms. Stewart. She looked middle aged, maybe late thirties. Her hair was pulled up in a ponytail with long bangs cropping her face, and a pair of glasses tucked into her blouse. Ben was unsure if he should cordially introduce himself or half pretend she wasn’t even in the room like Coach. The woman flashed a quick closed lip smile, and he chose to do the same.
“Miss Stewart here is a journalist for the local ABC affiliate.” Coach paused again, seemingly forcing his sentences out through gritted teeth. “She plans to run a story in the near future.”
Ben tried to remain expressionless as his hands clamped tightly around his legs, as if he were bracing for impact. It hadn’t been abnormal for reporters to request interviews, but Coach was making this particular one seem like a big deal.
“She is here out of the kindness of her cold, black heart to let us know in advance,” Coach seethed.
It would be an understatement to say Coach definitely did not like this woman, or the reason she was here.
The woman who had been sitting silently in the corner of the room began to speak: “Ben.” Her voice didn’t seem hurtful or mean. In fact it was soft and slow and poured out like a stream of cool water. “I want to tell your story.”
Ben looked over at the woman’s dark brown eyes but didn’t respond.
She continued. “I want to tell the story of the young man who returns to running to shatter several collegiate records, after overcoming the tragic loss of his daughter and wife…”
The woman kept on talking about something, possibly even asking Ben questions. Ben still stared in the woman’s direction, but he didn’t see her. He didn’t hear her. All he heard was Grace’s voice. All he saw was her aquamarine eyes.
About The Author
Wesley Banks was born in 1983 and grew up on the west coast of Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. After spending over 7 years building movable bridges from Florida to Washington he decided to focus on his true passion: writing.
Wesley recently moved from Florida to Oregon to get back to the great outdoors that he loves so much. He lives with his wife Lindsey, and his two dogs Linkin and Story. Most of his time these days is spent writing, with as much rock climbing, hiking, or skiing as they can fit in.
You can find Wesley at