Le dispatcher à la belle allure

I was working on the blue carpet as I glanced to my right side. A surprisingly charming young man, aged between 23 and 25, in a dark blue jacket and green hair net, was asking some information to one of his Moroccan colleagues. He stood only at a little distance from me. For a few seconds, I stared at him for no particular reason. At the same time, I was wondering if he would notice me. At first sight, he seemed a self-confident man and looked like a Southern type. He had an inviting smile and didn’t attract attention from other people. He seemed to be focused on his job in Grains Noirs, a factory located in Molenbeek, between Ossegem and Koekelberg, near the center of Brussels.  

‘He showed me his ring finger only for a few seconds and said:  “I am engaged”.    

As soon as he came out of the refrigerator room, he looked deep into my eyes. I felt confused and didn’t know how to behave. A few hours later, I was finishing the preparation of chicken salad boxes when he came to me to help putting labels on the boxes. Although I tried before, I just couldn’t manage to use the device correctly. I made fun of myself and was especially annoyed because I didn’t know how to do my job right. There were quite a lot of boxes to label, so we engaged in a long conversation. I was really attracted to him and I thought that he felt the same way. But at a certain point, he showed me his ring finger only for a few seconds and said: “I am engaged”. I was really surprised and embarrassed at the same time. I couldn’t say one word. Working felt a bit weird when I was next to him. It felt as if the silence filled the void.

Finally, when all the boxes were labelled, I told him: “Look, I have to go. I’m done with work for today”. He replied: “No worries, have a nice evening and see you next time’’. I left the factory in which I worked that Summer of 2015. While I was on my way home, I was thinking about what happened and what we said to each other. Vincent definitely knew I was falling in love. He made my day and I was undoubtedly overjoyed to have had a little chat with him even if he was engaged. A few days later, I decided to write him a letter as I listened to ‘’El perdón’’, a song often played at work and loved by the crew.

©Grains Noirs

When I arrived back at work, I tried to figure out when would be the best time to give him my letter. There were too many people around us, so I had been waiting until the perfect moment arrived. In the afternoon, I saw him entering the refrigerator room. As soon as I opened the door, I took the white envelope from the back of my jeans pocket and gave it to him. I finally managed to give him my little present. He was curious and asked me if it was meant for him. As soon as he took the letter, he smiled broadly and said: ‘’thank you’’. I walked immediately out of the refrigerator and kept watching if he had already opened my letter. I felt quite embarrassed, so I decided to continue working.

An hour later, he came behind me and placed a white sheet of paper on the metal table where I was cutting tomatoes and said: “I’m not going to work tomorrow, therefore you should read this note”. I felt my eyes being filled with tears and turned red. I couldn’t believe he wrote something in return, this was so nice of him. In my letter, I wrote that he shouldn’t hesitate to tell me something in return. I took a little break and took my time to read it. He wrote that he liked me and that he would really appreciate it if we could know each other better.

I read it several times and didn’t know what to say and how to react. I was on another planet, lost in space. At the bottom of the sheet of paper, he signed with “Le dispatcher à la belle allure”. At first, I didn’t understand why he called himself that way, but that would change.I put his letter in my front pocket.

Vincent came towards me and asked if I had already read his letter. Just like yesterday, he helped me putting the dates on the wraps and said: “Since the very first day, you looked at me like you had fallen in love with someone you don’t even know”. I blushed and told him the truth about my feelings. He made me understand that subtlety does exist.

He helped me putting the dates on the wraps and said: “Since the very first day, you looked at me like you had fallen in love with someone you don’t even know”.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the factory because my contract ended. When I was leaving Vincent, he gestured with his hands : ‘’SMS’’. I presume that I had to text him and that he wanted the first message to come from me. Then he saluted me, as a military man would do: two fingers close to the face, like a gun. And so I left Grains Noirs. I got on the subway and re-read his letter. While I was waiting at the bus stop, I decided to send him a message as I promised. We started to exchange messages for the entire evening.

Two weeks later, I was sitting in class when, out of the blue, Vincent’s name appeared on my phone. I opened the message and read it. The message clearly stated that he would rather not see me again. He put an end to it and I felt terribly hurt. My heart was broken. I had no strength, I felt weak and couldn’t think of anything else. I left the classroom and ran to the bathroom to lock myself in the toilet. I re-read the message that he had sent to me at 10:46 and burst into tears. I literally couldn’t stop crying and wasn’t able to go back to class. When I came out of the toilet, I looked at myself in the mirror. I was red-eyed and mascara was all over my face. After a few minutes, I went to the school canteen, but I couldn’t get any food down my throat, I had no appetite at all. This love was really love at first sight and had made me incredibly crazy. I would appreciate seeing him again for one last time. I was wondering if there would be a sequel.

In 2018, I gathered all my courage and decided to go back to Grains Noirs because I wanted to see him again after such a long period of time. Once I saw Vincent, smoking a cigarette outside the factory, my heart skipped a beat. At first sight, he was surprised to see me. He gave me a kiss on my cheek and asked me what I was doing there and why I came back. I apologized and told him I just wanted to see him again. We talked to each other like two normal people would do. We had a conversation about my studies and what I wanted to become in the future. It felt a little strange and uncomfortable, to be honest. I wasn’t in love anymore. The conversation lasted only twenty minutes, so I decided to leave. It just didn’t make sense to talk to him any further. He didn’t really care about me. Our meeting felt like we were two complete strangers. Vincent had no impact on my life anymore. It was hard in the beginning to not see him again. In fact, I blocked him everywhere on social media and deleted his phone number to completely forget about him and to avoid every possible contact. Life goes on and I was looking forward to my new part time job…

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