It wasn't like this was the first morning she had to get up early. After nearly ten years as a nurse at the emergency room at St. Addieline's, she knew very well that early mornings were more the rule, rather than the exception. Outside the streets were still dark, even though the morning commute had already begun. "Good", she thought. "I'm not alone in the world".
She wasn't alone at all. In the room next door, her teenage son was still sleeping. At least the trucks from the nearby warehouse didn't prevent him from getting a good nights sleep.
After finishing her coffee, she went outside. The air was cold and raw, as it often was at this time of year. She looked around as she headed for the Overground. The concrete pre-fabs were tall, grey and dark. A few windows had light in them, like angry eyes staring back at her. She walked faster.
The neighbourhood was a result of the Kurtzfeld Housing Project during the sixties. She had always considered the area to be a good place to live. Peaceful. Away from the hustle and bustle in Victoria, but still close enough for a reasonable commute. Also, when her son was younger, the numerous playgrounds and other children for him to play with, made the area ideal for both of them. Safe.
It was different, back then. A swing or a sandbox wasn't enough for them anymore. The many broken streetlights and the graffiti at the Overground station was a symbol that things had changed.
The Overground made a little squeak as it pulled out of the station. Other than that it was quite silent. And comfortable. During the years of commuting she had travelled with a lot of different tram sets. These new ones were quite good. Sometimes she fell asleep. The trip to Victoria could be quite boring, but this morning she wasn't tired at all. Instead she found herself staring out of the large windows as the Overground entered Hansmarkt.
The yellow Gartner warehouse was heavily lit up. Right next to it, the Hansmarkt Public Housing Project was just as dark, tall and grey as the blocks in her own neighbourhood, creating a brutal contrast to the warehouse.
As the Overground was leaving Hansmarkt, she noticed some factory workers parking their cars at a nearby parking lot. She didn't even have a car, and she would never in her wildest dreams prioritize to buy one. No, public transport was just fine. She would rather relax on the Overground than spending twice as much time in the infamous traffic jams in Victoria. And she didn't even know where to get off the A-1..
She smiled to herself as the Overground passed by the villas in north Victoria. Some of them even with pools. Now and then she got a glimpse of black, polished cars in the driveways. "No, public transport is just fine", she repeated to herself.
As the Overground crossed the A-1 and the Nordlinie, she knew she was nearly there. After all these years commuting, she was really hoping for a transfer to Kurtzfeld hospital. Then, she could at least sleep for one more hour, and when it was time to go, she could just.. well.. go. Walk. Across the street, so to speak.
Victoria University was already full of students. She supposed they decided to show up very, very early. Or maybe they hadn't even gone to sleep yet. What did she know? Did she even care? Hopefully, her son would get his act together and start university one day. After all, there is more to life than walking around late at night, breaking the bulbs in the street lights..
Finally, the Overground arrived at St. Addieline's. She got up from her seat and stepped outside. Maybe she should text her son, making sure he was awake and ready for school? She took a look at her watch. 4 in the morning. Maybe not. Not yet. Everyone deserves to sleep.
Everyone, but her.