Almost, I think I love you!

It’s February 2nd as I write this. And the Broncos ALMOST won the Superbowl! Almost, you see, because they were one of the two teams playing. Almost, you see, is a tricky little beast, a squirmy, wiggly kind of word. What is it, exactly, about almost that is so, so tempting?

It can be tantalizing, teasing, tempting. He almost kissed her, she almost ate the whole dessert, they almost won the game. Almost suggests that if the smallest of details had fallen into place, victory would have been achieved.

My favorite mysteries are the ones where the villain almost gets away with the crime, the stories that have the reader on the edge of his or her seat, reading frantically to make sure–because surely the author would not let the villain get away with this!–to confirm that the villain is caught and punished as is just and right. Because the story is where things can be tied up neatly, no stone left unturned, no avenue left unexplored, and where the messy realities of real life are a distant thought.


Except when the author, those terrible, wonderful, tricky authors leave us just enough of a suggestion, a hint, a tiny breadcrumb of a clue that maybe, just maybe, the story isn’t quite finished. Which, of course, can cause a reader to go swiftly to the nearest bookstore or website to order the next book by this terrible, wonderful, tricky author, and go on another journey where the author lets the villain get away with the crime.


Author: Pamela A. Oberg

Pamela is a portfolio manager at an educational assessment company by day, writer by night. Founder of Writers on Words (a discussion and critique group), Pamela enjoys spinning tales of murder and mayhem, with an occasional foray into the world of the paranormal.

9 thoughts on “Almost, I think I love you!”

  1. Thank you! It’s definitely the tension and uncertainty in the story that keeps me engaged and excited. I’m not sure I could “almost” eat the whole dessert–if it’s chocolate, I’m eating the whole darn thing!


  2. Isn’t it funny how the “almost” will keep us coming back, but the resolution of it let’s us let it go. The first example that jumped to my mind will really date me, but I’ll say it anyway. There was a show in the 80s called Moonlighting with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepard–the torrid flirting between the two (as only Bruce Willis and what’shername could do) was legendary. And the show lost all steam when they finally consummated their relationship.


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