The Togetherness Routine follows fourteen year old Gail as her lifetime love, sixteen year old Kelvin, takes a leave of absence from her everytime life. For seven years Gail and Kelvin have been attached at the hip, growing from childhood buddies eating mud together to teen sweethearts. That all changes when Gail’s parents decide to take an active role in Gail’s relationship as they witness her become unhealthily attached to Kelvin. It comes to the point where Gail has no friends to turn to after the unexpected happens.
This short story was surprisingly good. I went into the story knowing Gail was fourteen and didn’t have high hopes for her character. That age just doesn’t have a very good reputation for being the most mature and objective with life choices. Then again, she’s only fourteen. While Gail did exhibit some childish tendencies, such as kicking a hole through a linen door when upset, she quickly and surprisingly took it upon herself to change her school behaviors and took the initiative to find friends. She began to grow on me. I wish we would have heard more about Kelvin as he was only really featured in Gail’s head, not as he really was in the flesh.
For being short, The Togetherness Routine has a very true to life description of how unhealthy it is to depend solely on one person, because when that person leaves it can be devastating. Having a sister who gets attached to her boyfriends, I was able to connect with the story and will consider passing it on to her. I wish there had been a bit more meat to the story, but for being so short it really honed in on the central plot well.
Some relationships are meant to be - but why doesn’t your family understand? If you have been going with someone since kindergarten and grown up together and it feels so right, it must be right. To split up leaves a big gaping hole in your life that feels very wrong. Nobody can possibly understand what you are going through when you are so alone and isolated. Why do families think they can be of help when they have caused your life to mess up in the first place?