It was a weary, bone tiredness. The one that leeches the light and colour from everything. She took a deep breath and willed her eyes open, trying to hold back the tears at the thought of another day. The mantra started. just get through today, take one step then the next. Just get through this day Shed been saying it for six months now, and while the trepidation didn’t abate, it helped. Hoping that the day may prove different always helped. She pattered slowly out to the kitchen, dawn teasing past the cracks in the blinds. The movements out of habit, switching the coffee machine on, plucking a pod out of the glass square ? the colour revealing it to be the strongest on offer. And while it readied, more hope. Hope that the cold water in the bathroom might wake her, hope that her jeans didn’t fit her so snugly today. Hope that there was a clean top that the cat hadn’t shed white fur all over. The ping of the coffee machine accelerated her concentration, one cup down and the morning took on a sharper edge. She shooed the melancholy thoughts to the back, there was no time. Breakfast was simple, toast and Vegemite, slaked on in a thick black smear, slapping her taste buds awake and then keys, satchel, pat the cat and out the door ? teeth forgotten in order to catch the bus on time. Morning joggers in matching Lycra making their way around her as she shuffled down the street not realising her boots were on backwards and her top on inside out. Smile a greeting at the others waiting for the bus, and still after two years no one replied. Each cocooned in their own tiny grey insular world. Tears threatened again and she rummaged in her satchel to find her glasses to conceal it. The bus was late and people rushed to its doors as if to make up for time. She exchanged a small knowing smile with the driver, too tired to try another greeting and quietly took a seat at the back, sitting straight, holding still as if a careless knock would break it all apart. It wasn’t yet 6am.