As Bella (Courtney Miller) attempts to take the next step in her burgeoning relationship with Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo), a shocking development sees Bella hit her lowest point yet…
Bella seems to have found a kindred spirit in Nikau since he came to town—the pair have bonded over their similar pasts, and Bella was grateful to Nik when he helped her take the decision to leave school and apply for TAFE.
With Bella’s sheltered upbringing, it’s the first time she’s felt this way about someone, and the new emotions she’s feeling are confusing to say the least.
However with the traumatic experience she went through last year with Tommy—who attempted to sexually assault Bella after grooming her online—there was always going to be added concerns about Bella’s wellbeing when it came to forming a new relationship.
Best friend Ryder (Lukas Radovich) realised this when he first saw how sparks were flying between Nik and Bella, and there was added concern with the fact that he knew Bella was skipping her sessions with counsellor Patricia.
In a misguided attempt to protect Bella, he told Nik about her past to ensure that he treaded carefully with her.
But this tip-off backfired when Nik began avoiding Bella, and it didn’t take long for Bella to realise what Ryder had done. Although it very nearly cost Ryder his own friendship with Bella, she soon realised that he was only looking out for her, and relations between the three were soon back on track.
In the meantime, Colby confronted Bella when he found out that she’d been skipping counselling—the deal being that she would continue to go in exchange for being allowed to leave school and attend TAFE—but she remained adamant that she was not going to attend.
Knowing that most of her issues stem from her father, and keeping the secret that Colby had killed him, Bella has been scared of opening up to Patricia in case she says something that could implicate her brother.
In the end, Colby told Bella that he was done with trying to help her, and she could do what she liked.
Last week saw Bella wrestle with her emotions as she tried to tell Nik how she felt about him. Frustrated by not being able to get the words out, Bella ended up shouting “I like you!” at Nik before running off.
As Bella sought solace from her embarrassment by talking to Roo at the caravan park, Nik spoke with Ryder who made him realise that he was also feeling the same way about Bella.
In the end it was Ryder who ended up inviting Nik to the caravan park to finally sort things out with Bella, and as they took a walk to clear the air, Bella and Nik shared their first kiss.
This week their relationship continues to blossom as Nik asks Bella out on a date, a pool game followed by the movies. The next day Bella talks with Willow (Sarah Roberts) where she reveals that she and Nik have kissed, and wonders whether she ready to take the next step.
Willow is surprised, but advises Bella to trust her instincts—she will know when the time is truly right.
“Willow is the one Bella trusts, so she opens up to her,” Courtney told New Idea magazine. “Willow gives her some good advice. She is like a mother figure to Bella – she is Bella’s ‘family’.”
And so Bella invites Nik over with her intention to take the next step in their relationship.
But as things start to become heated between them, a wave of panic comes over Bella as her horrific past ordeal comes back to haunt her.
Ordering Nik to leave, a distraught Bella locks herself in her room.
“Bella has been through absolute trauma with her dad, with her family and with [her online stalker] Tommy,” Courtney continued. “All she wants at the moment is to live a normal life and to be with Nik, but she’s not seeing the bigger picture.”
Realising how fragile Bella is, Nik races off to find help. After being alerted to her current state, Colby races home with Ryder and Willow and is forced to break down Bella’s door.
As Bella screams at Colby to leave her alone, he spots something that Bella is desperately trying to hide, which shocks him to the core.
Bella’s arm is dripping with blood—she’s been cutting herself.
“Bella is feeling so much shame and embarrassment that crying is simply not enough,” Courtney told TV Week. “She’s mortified that the experiences of Tommy still have such an effect on her. She feels the need to release, so she believes the pain of self-harming will allow her to briefly forget about everything.”
As Willow and Ryder look on, Colby tries to comfort Bella and rushes her to the hospital
Ryder angrily confronts Nik, but he insists that he never tried to push Bella into doing anything, it was completely her decision. Scared for his friend, Ryder doesn’t believe him.
“Bella just didn’t see this coming,” Courtney explained to New Idea. “She desperately needs help.”
But if Bella continues to refuse to see a counsellor, what options will Colby be left with?
On being asked what’s in store for Bella, Courtney added “Bella will begin to focus on herself. That is something she really needs to do.”
Here’s the full spoilers for this week in Australia:
Monday 27th April (Episode 7313)
Colby’s thrown to learn about Mac and Ari. Leah is triggered by a diner customer. Bella and Nikau enjoy time together.
Tuesday 28th April (Episode 7314)
Bella believes she’s ready to take her relationship to the next level. Ari is treading in dangerous waters by pursuing Mac. Justin finds it hard to hear the details of Leah’s impact statement.
Wednesday 29th April (Episode 7315)
Bella reaches crisis point. Nikau is forced to break his family’s cycle with running from police. Maggie’s ostracised by her family.
Thursday 30th April (Episode 7316)
Colby makes a big decision to save Bella. Bella makes an unexpected breakthrough. Nikau struggles with his guilt over Bella’s breakdown.