“Tell us everything,” Lyle says eagerly as he leans forward to catch every detail. It is three days after my ordeal, and Jimmy is in jail pending his bail hearing. My mother, Lyle, and I are perched in Paris’s new hospital room as he’s been moved from the ICU to a regular room. He is making tremendous progress, and can now speak in complete, full sentences. This is the first opportunity we’ve all had to be together. The Jensons have thoughtfully allowed us time alone and are in the cafeteria presumably converting some poor heathen soul. I am elated that I have only the rope burns on my wrists to contend with, a few stitches in my forehead and a bruise from when Jimmy backhanded me—no hospital stay for me this time. My back didn’t even bruise from all his prodding, so I consider myself in tip-top shape.
“What do you want to know?” I ask coyly, laughing at the identical looks of dismay on their faces.
“Start with why,” Paris suggests, looking a hundred percent better already. He can sit up for short periods of time and even eats solid food—if you call applesauce, mashed potatoes, Jell-O, and pudding solid food.
“Why is easiest,” I say. “As you know, Jimmy wanted to run for mayor, and his platform was family values. Good-old fashioned moral man, that’s our Jimmy. Unfortunately for him, he had a harder time practicing than preaching. He has been carrying on an affair with Ursula, on and off for over twenty years.” I pause to drag out the tension. The three of them have their eyes fixed on me, raptly following every word. “That wasn’t a problem in and of itself since she would never divulge the affair for reasons of her own.”
“She liked being married,” Lyle breaks in, putting in his two-cents’ worth. “And she liked that clandestine nature of their relationship.” I resume the tale.
“So everything was going fine as long as they both knew where the affair stood. The trouble started when Ursula dropped the bomb on Jimmy—whom she called Benny, by the way—that he was the father of illegitimate twins—Paris and Robin.”