1 - Red Shoes - Bella

Bella sometimes thinks - hopes - that if she clicks the heels of her red shoes together three times she will go home.

Only she doesn't have any red shoes to put on.

She knows that if she said the word to Alice she would have three hundred pairs in a flash – satin, silk brocade and leather, blood, tomato and dark wine.

But it's impossible anyway. Not the physics of it – well, of course the physics of it – but more than that, home is the only place in the world that is truly off-limits to her now.

click click click

It's hopeless.

--

2 - Adversary - Jacob

Jacob ran from the lace-lined invitation that hid a spare, simple note from his too-noble adversary.

Adversary.

He wouldn't say victor, not yet.

That's how he changed his mind. When he hit soils and scents he didn't recognize, he realized he shouldn't be running.

Adversary, not victor.

What was a wedding? What did it matter that she loved Cullen more?

Jacob didn't need to have Bella –

God he wanted her, wanted her soft lips and all her I love you's

- to be okay.

He would run back, watch. Watch her forever.

As long as she was alive there was hope.

--

3 - Charisma - Jasper

Sometimes Alice reminds him of himself. His old self. His human self.

Jasper wonders if that's part of why he needs her so much.

She's charming - a little insane - but charismatic, supremely self-confident.

He used to be that way – though vastly more gentlemanly, to be sure - before the horror of newborn armies and filling yourself endlessly with blood.

When Alice is near to him, when he hears the delicate peal of her laughter as she taunts Edward -

'I know all about it, Edward. I know everything, silly.'

- Jasper can hope that he didn't leave all of himself behind outside Galveston.

--

4 - Not As I Do - Charlie

He hopes she will get over him, even though he never got over her.

Do as I say, not as I do.

He hopes Bella will have romance in her life again. He hopes he will see her smile and blush, love and be loved.

He hopes he will get grandchildren someday.

He hopes that the last three months won't spread thinly into the rest of her life, till she's middle-aged, watching TV after work, never letting anyone be enough.

He hopes. He has hope.

Charlie has hope because she's walking toward him hand-in-hand with Jacob Black and she's laughing.

--

5 - Soul - Edward

For the first time since he was turned, Edward can almost believe that a vampire holds onto its soul through the change, that he is not a mere empty reanimation of a rich and poignant flesh and blood existence.

He has hope because Bella's eyes are lighter, brighter, they aren't human anymore... but she still looks at him just the way she used to.

She's harder but she leans in soft, unbreakable, fragile, whispers 'Edward' sweetly into my lips, whispers love and always and other things that sound like heaven -

She still kisses him just the way she used to.

--

6 - Hope - Rosalie

There was no hope in Rosalie's world.

Edward was disappointment, Emmett was comfort.

There was no hope until Bella.

She would keep Bella alive. She would keep her alive to make love out of the warmth that had so brutalized her, alive to have babies that grew and loved and died too.

If she told Alice about her hope, she knew she would wrinkle her nose and make a joke about seeing a shrink.

She's not your daughter, Rose. And you're not supposed to try and live your life through them anyway.

Rosalie didn't care. She would keep Bella alive.

--

7 - Just For A Second - Leah

It's difficult for Leah to really believe it. She can see it with her own eyes but she can't quite understand how this happened, how Sam went from living for her to living for Emily overnight.

When she starts phasing it's even more difficult, because he can hear her and she can hear him and one time in her father's house he's looking at her.

Just for a second he's looking at her and it means something.

It means what it used to mean.

But then Emily steps into the room and hope shrivels up like cut flowers on fast-forward.

--

8 - Twos And Threes - Mike

Bella knew that if there were two of her, each complete and separated, she would give one to Edward and one to Jacob. Her doubled self would be at peace.

Mike sometimes slumped over the counter at Newton's and thought to himself that if there were three Bellas, two of them would run around after Cullen and the third would hang off the oversized kid from the Reservation.

When he got the wedding invitation he sighed. At this point it seemed he had more hope of getting a date with Rosalie Hale than ever being taken seriously by Bella Swan.

--

9 - Burden - Carlisle

Emmett jokingly refers to him as 'Miracle Man'. Alice once spoke of him as "cured".

Carlisle knows it isn't true, but he lets them keep their hope.

He alone bears the burden of knowing that scraps of that old need will always remain, gathering dust in the corners of his mind.

He is the tormented priest, devoted to God, though in love with the flesh of a woman, always conscious of that love, always ashamed.

But he glances down at Esme beside him and he knows that the priest is wrong to think of sex as sin.

That's the difference.

--

10 - Aftermath - Billy

The news of Bella's death hit Forks, then La Push and wheelchair-bound Billy Black was a rock in a sea of pain.

His best friend, his son.

Charlie mourned. Jacob couldn't. He knew Bella wasn't actually dead.

Charlie had the luxury of imagining it had been quick, painless. Jacob knew all about the three days of burning.

Charlie could call it an accident. Jacob had to live with the fact that she chose it.

Charlie could hold onto hope that he would see her in Heaven one day. Jacob wasn't religious, but Billy suspected that was still the worst part.

--

11 - Taste In Men - Quil

When Claire is seventeen and full-hipped and wearing makeup to school, Quil's feelings change. He wishes he could still only see the little girl, hates that his body longs for hers now, an ache that's wrong and right at the same time.

He cringes when she dates, but he can't tell her. Even now that it's allowed, he can't.

A blonde boy named Danny. He's slight and reads poetry to her on the porch.

Quil hates him.

But one day he overhears Claire giggling. "Danny? No way. I like my men big and dark."

He grins. There's hope after all.

--

12 - Big Loveable Clueless - Emmett

Emmett wishes Rosalie would get over Edward. He doesn't hope she will, only wishes. There is no hope of ever pulling that longing out of her perfect stone form.

She thinks he's oblivious and he prefers it that way. Big, loveable, clueless. That's her Emmett. He'd be cuddly if he wasn't so hard.

Only Edward knows his true thoughts. When Rosalie love-hates Bella Swan, eyes veering between scorn and wistfulness, only Edward bears the jealous rage in Emmett's heart.

Emmett suspects that that is appropriate.

He doesn't know what happened between them before he came along. He doesn't want to.

--

13 - Practice - Bella

"I love you."

She's taken to practicing saying it, standing in front of the mirror.

"I love you, Jacob."

So far, so good. Next.

Her stomach flutters madly even though he's not there.

Pathetic.

"I'm in love with you, Jacob."

A nervous smile, her hands are fists now.

"I'm not in love with – "

It won't come.

She sighs, lets herself relax.

She still can't say it. It's hopeless.

God, Bella hopes it isn't hopeless.

Because until she can say it, she knows she can't let him kiss her like that, not again. No matter how much she wants him to.

--

14 - List - Jacob

She's in love with him, he knows it even if she doesn't, and that's what keeps him hoping even after the bloodsuckers come home.

Every Wednesday he devotes second period – and most of the rest of the week if he's honest - to making a list in his head.

Ways To Make Bella Get It.

But all he can ever come up with are ways to show that he loves her.

And everyone already knows all about that. Old news.

He tries kissing her, she just punches him.

Jacob sighs. She'll understand vampires and werewolves before she'll understand her own heart.

--

15 - Lights - Edward

Hope is a difficult thing.

There are times when Edward wishes he was without it. Still dull, safe, in the dark.

There are times when he wishes his hope didn't live inside the fragile body of a flesh and blood girl who tripped and broke herself as often as his throat ached to taste her.

He ached for her all the time.

It would be simple if it was only in that one familiar way. He would drain her. Done.

But he can't kill his own hope.

He can't bear to turn the lights out now that they're suddenly on.

--

16 - Soft - Bella

Bella falls in love with him much more rapidly than she'll admit to herself. The way he looks - is - he must have had girls falling all over him since puberty. She doesn't want to be one of those.

She doesn't want to be a Jessica, slighted and resentful, eyeing the pretty people across the cafeteria.

But she's in love with him already. She can't make herself look away and when her eyes are on him, she can't make the longing stop.

Edward hates her, Edward saves her. In the hospital his brilliant eyes are soft.

She hopes that's for her.

--

17 - Cruel - Embry

Embry Call had always had a crush on Leah Clearwater. And that's always like toddler-always.

Her eyes had always been so alive, she had always been the quickest one to the punch line. She had always had guts. It was hot.

When Sam broke her heart, Embry couldn't understand it. Even when he started phasing and learned about imprinting it still made no sense to him.

I'd never dump her.

When she'd joined the pack he had hoped it might bring them closer.

All it did was tear him up.

She used to be funny, now she was just cruel.

--

18 - Help - Angela

For the last few days Angela had been trying to summon up the courage to call Bella's father and tell him she needed help.

She couldn't say she knew what it was like to be dumped, but it had to be pretty bad. When the Cullens had left she'd expected Bella to be depressed for a while.

But it was almost like she was just gone, like all the Bella Swan had been scooped out of her.

Then one day she was different.

She didn't quite have a spring in her step, but she seemed to have found some hope.

--

19 - Waiting - Bella

Edward had half hoped the news of Jacob Black's death would give Bella some peace. That the finality of it would help her to seal the human side of her away, so that she wouldn't be torn anymore, she wouldn't be always suffering.

He should have known that ghosts haunt better than living things ever could.

A hundred years had passed but Jacob hadn't died of old age.

Cars.

Edward tells her she can't blame herself. She does.

Not for his death. For the fact that he never let himself live.

Because he was still waiting for her, still hoping.

--

20 - Impossible - Jacob

Jacob is impossible. He won't let Bella be broken. He won't let her bury the pieces of herself.

He insists that she smile, insists that she laugh. He can be so bossy.

He holds her hand and she tells him he shouldn't, she's a hopeless thing, a lost cause.

He holds her hand.

Once she asks him why he won't give up on her and he grins, says she's too pretty to be so sad. She blushes, feels a tiny pang somewhere in her empty chest.

Jacob is impossible. He insists on being her hope, even if she is hopeless.

--

21 - Future - Alice

Alice sometimes thinks her gift is a curse. After all, she's not actually seeing the future. She's just seeing one possible path that could change with someone's heart at any moment.

Every time Bella's future disappears, she worries that it won't come back the way she saw it before. That she will choose not to live forever, not to be her sister, not to make her brother whole.

She tries not to think about it. It doesn't bear thinking about.

Alice longs to trust what she sees right now, but she's scared to get her hopes up, have them dashed.