Example of Novella: The Lost Dream


When I was seventeen, my life changed forever. I know many people who become greatly surprised when I tell them that. They look at me trying to understand what could have happen. My story takes so much time to be told that most people would probably refuse to listen to it till the end. I cannot summarize it in 3 or 4 sentences as it is not so simple. Although it was more than 30 years ago, people who lived here at that time accept my lack of explanation without any questions. To some extent, it is also their story, as we have experienced it together.

But this story is more closely connected with me than with other people. I’m 50 years old, but even now I still remember everything what happened in that year, including the smallest details. I often reflect on that year, and when I do, I feel a strange combination of joy and sadness. There are moments when I want to make clocks go back and remove all the sadness, but I understand that joy would also disappear. So I accept my memories, allowing them to guide me whenever I have the opportunity. But it happens more often than one can tell by looking at me.

Today is the 20th of May, and as I leave my house, I look around. The sky is cloudy and gray. Walking down the street, I notice that the dogwoods are blooming. I fasten my jacket. The air is cool, though I know it is just a matter of a few weeks before the gray sky gives way to the sunny days that make this place one of the most beautiful in the world. Breathing in the fresh air, the memories come back to me. I close my eyes, and years slowly fall back, like clock hands, rotating in the opposite direction. Watching from the outside, I see a younger me. My hair changes color from gray to brown, I feel the wrinkles on my face flatten, and my legs and arms become more muscular. That eventful year returns.

The world begins to change. The roads become narrower, and some transform into gravel. The streets are full of people looking in the bakery window. Men wear hats and women nice dresses.

I open my eyes. I am standing near a church looking at the gable, and I know exactly who I am. My name is Kevin Harris, and I’m 18 years old.

After high school I was planning to go to the University of North Carolina. My father wanted me to go to Harvard or Princeton, but with my marks it was impossible. I was not a bad student. I just couldn’t concentrate in class and because of that, my grades suffered.

If I wanted to enter the University, I had to have an achievement. I didn’t play football or basketball. I didn’t play a musical instrument. I wasn’t in the chess club or something like that. I didn’t do well at school, and it was terrible to think that I didn’t succeed in anything. Thus, I slowly came to the conclusion that I was a loser.