Elizabeth Stories: Ben ❤ Abby

 In Charlotte Neighborhoods, Charlotte Real Estate, Historic Elizabeth, House Stories, Jenspiration ~ Life & Love, What to do in Charlotte
Authors Note:  This bit of fiction was originally published in the Elizabeth Community Newsletter ~ Spring 2013 Edition. It was born of a curiosity held by myself and our editor [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][and my very dear friend!] Nancy Albert, as a fictional explanation for the ubiquitous sidewalk engravings found all over the neighborhood of historic Elizabeth, in Charlotte, NC. The ‘real’ story follows the fictional.

Ben Hearts Abby in historic Elizabeth | Jennifer Monroe | SavvyGirlHomes.com

Ben Hearts Abby

… as imagined by the author

Walk long enough through the shady streets of Elizabeth and it will begin adding up: the many instances of “Ben ♡ Abby” etched upon our sidewalks. But who is Ben? And how, we wonder, does Abby feel? 

It began the evening Ben had dinner at Jackalope Jacks. Having recently arrived from Durham to complete his surgical residency at Carolinas, he’d rented a small walkup on Lamar Street and didn’t know a soul in all of Charlotte. 

But on this evening, the moment she rounded the corner with her pad in hand, Ben fell instantly, and irrevocably in love. Her name tag read “Abby.” A tiny heart sticker pressed beside her name was faded and peeling. When she smiled, he could see the lines framing her eyes and knew she had 10 years on him, probably more. But beyond her physical beauty, there was a radiance emanating from her that told him all he needed to know.

For weeks, he dined in her section before finally working up the nerve to ask her out. She smiled and agreed to let him walk her home that night. He was unusually nervous, all starched shirt to her messy bohemian braids. She had an easy way about her, and the more she said, the deeper he longed for her. She loved art, twentieth century literature and the salty ocean air. Whereas his own life had been artistically anemic for longer than he cared to remember, she provided him a much needed transfusion.

The next morning he walked to work in a state of blissful elation. His mind was racing with thoughts of Abby. While visions of their future played out before him, he failed to notice the wet sidewalk in front of him and nearly tripped into it. If love brings out our most juvenile inclinations, it fully seized Ben at that moment. Looking around and seeing no one, he broke off a small branch and to his own surprise, found himself engraving the iconic sentiments we know so well. It was only the beginning.

As time passed, every encounter with her became a mini travelogue. She enchanted him with strange and wondrous tales, pulling him further into her mystical allure. The waitressing gig, he learned, was merely a means to gather enough money to book passage on her next sojourn. For all of his professional focus, he failed to understand why she lacked a desire for a real home. 

Because home, she said, was a one-way ticket to her next destination. Home was always far enough away that she couldn’t see behind her. For Ben though, her home had found it’s place: forever and indelibly etched upon his heart. And there it remains, even as she boards her next plane.

Abby is in India. But when she returns, one short walk and she will know. And Ben, well, Ben is just waiting.


 © Jennifer Monroe, Realtor®/Broker 2012

It wasn’t long before many residents let us know the REAL story about Ben and Abby, and it is far more romantic than anything we had imagined. Ben is a longtime resident of Elizabeth, and Abby, his lovely beloved pooch. They walked together through our beautiful, canopied neighborhood for years, stopping to etch their undying love in fresh cement whenever the opportunity presented itself.

It is with much sadness that we have just learned of Abby’s passing.

Run fast through the fields of Heaven sweet girl…


So Long Abby in historic Elizabeth| Ben Hearts Abby | SavvyGirlHomes.com

Jennifer Monroe, Realtor®/Broker

Refreshingly Honest Real Estate!

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© Jennifer Monroe, Realtor®/Broker 2014

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  • Jason Sardi

    I almost forgot how fantastically written this take on Ben & Abby is. I recall seeing “Ben hearts Abby” etched in the sidewalk for the first time and wondering what the story was behind it. I still like the imagined version …. though the reality version is pretty darn cool as well:)

    • Jennifer Monroe

      Thank you Jason! But sadly, Elizabeth has lost one of her legends. I will be dropping a paper heart in her memorial bowl today.

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