She says it in passing, like an errand she forgot to mention
“He got engaged”
Engaged, you repeat with your mouth
The word tastes silly against your tongue,
So foreign and unused and blasphemous
Engaged, you say again
Not liking the sound of the g against the d
Or the e against the n
You regret the question before you ask it.
She pulls up a picture of her.
Her name is Angela.
She has her arms wrapped around him
And it feels as though they’re wrapped around you
Too tight, squeezing skin against fabric until you can’t breathe
Oh, you manage to muster
She dated him too and yet she’s not upset because she has someone else
Have been alone since him.
Have felt nothing since him.
Have been waiting for him.
He got engaged at the age and place that he said he was going to do with you
You feel your brain splintering into a
kaleidoscope of colors,
with reds taking over after a minute,
not letting you see
You feel the sting of your tears prick the corners of your eyes
Just before they spring,
Jumping from your tear ducts the same way you wanted to jump once,
Reaching your lips before you can say “oh” again
but this time, smaller
You feel the panic coming on,
A while since this has happened,
Your medication keeping you from experiencing these like you used to
But not preventing them entirely.
The oxygen you’re taking into your lungs suddenly feels unfiltered
Your bronchi can’t fathom the particles in front of you
And you can feel your lungs collapsing
Landing in the cavern of your stomach
Deflating like stale balloons as they sink into your hip bones
You are floating now
Gripping onto the kitchen table in front of you for dear life
Your bare hands just barely keeping you in your body
When the strings keeping you here snap like guitar strings being cut
The air is gone,
The table is gone,
Your body is gone,
He is gone.
should this be in italics like other dialogue from narrator?