Rosario didn't want to pull away from the hug. She didn't want to open that door. It was Schrödinger's box. So long as it stayed shut, the cat was simultaneously alive and dead, but the instant she turned the handle she knew she was gonna be faced with a corpse. Fuck. Fuck.
She squeezed her eyes shut so hard that shimmering nebulae burst across the backs of her eyelids.
Then she opened them, and she pulled apart from Lyra, and she set her hand on the doorknob.
She opened the box.
Turned out her mom had been right.
It wasn't what Rosario had been thinking at all.
"He's my fucking bio-dad."
Rosario had burst onto the roof in a flurry of agitated motion and she hadn't so much as paused for breath. She raked a clawed hand through her curls and turned a 180, pacing back the other way. She was practically vibrating. Felt like the pressure in her chest had cracked wide open, and inside of it had been a swarm of angry bees that spilled buzzing into her ribcage. She could feel the buzzing, reverberating up the back of her throat in what might, if she stopped moving long enough to think about it, turn into a sob.
She kept pacing.
"Archer Senior – Junior – whatever-the-fuck! Mister... Based-in-Fucking-Dubai-These-Days! He knocked her up at a frat party and she never saw him again, and my dad—" Her throat almost closed over that word and she swiped furiously at her cheek (dry now, though it'd be hard for Lyra to miss the telltale raw blotchiness). "They just let people assume!"