Having recently made a big decision about her future, Bella (Courtney Miller) has been putting off telling her big brother Colby (Tim Franklin)—how will he react when she finally tells him her plans?
Striking up a burgeoning friendship with newcomer Nikau Parata (Kawakawa Fox-Reo), Bella felt drawn to Nikau through their similar backgrounds.
As she explained her difficulties with schooling and the prospect of repeating Year 12, Nikau wondered why she was putting herself through it if it wasn’t making her happy.
Whilst she explained that she was doing it for Colby, Nikau wasn’t convinced that it was necessarily the right thing for her.
After a long chat, Bella and Nikau went downstairs and found Roo (Georgie Parker), Maggie (Kestie Morassi) and Ryder (Lukas Radovich) in the diner.
With a renewed joie de vivre, Bella excitedly explained that Nikau had helped her work out exactly what she wanted to do—leave school and go to TAFE to study a photography diploma.
Explaining that it would take the pressure off Colby, Bella did her best to convince Maggie and Roo that she was not destined to do well in her HSC—it was time to take charge of her own life and stop depending on others.
Much to her surprise, Maggie and Roo were fully supportive of her idea—but the only problem would be how to tell Colby, who’s still laid up in hospital.
A week later and Bella still hasn’t found the courage to tell Colby of her plans. When Ziggy overhears Maggie ask Bella how the TAFE application is coming along, she questions Bella on why Dean (Patrick O’Connor) doesn’t know that she’s leaving school.
Asked to keep her mouth shut and not blab to Dean, Ziggy asks why Bella is being so defensive. Bella explains that she doesn’t know how to tell Colby—she’s tired of letting Colby down.
But when Bella fully explains her reasons to Ziggy for choosing TAFE, Ziggy tells her she actually has a very convincing argument, and that she should go and tell Colby right away.
Unfortunately, Colby responds with a resounding no. After all the trouble that people have gone through to try and help with her education, Colby is angry that Bella is willing to throw it all away.
She tries to explain that she is doing it for him, after Dean told Bella to start pulling her own weight.
Eventually a frustrated Bella storms out. When Colby tries to pursue her, he doubles over in pain after putting weight on his leg.
Mackenzie (Emily Weir) follows Bella and convinces her to go back and talk to Colby, she thinks that Bella made some good points and it’s worth another shot
As the siblings calmly discuss the matter, Colby insists that all he ever wanted to do was give her the same chances as everyone else after such a difficult upbringing, it’s what their mum would have wanted. Bella appreciates that, but she knows it’s not working
Bella explains that she needs to focus on what she really loves doing, and she’s sure that her mum would be OK with it. Dean also agrees that it seems to make sense, and Colby agrees to look over the prospectus.
Impressed that Bella has clearly done her research, Colby is only left with the question of how she’s going to pay for it. Whilst Bella was planning on applying for fee help, Dean quickly pipes up that he will pay for it—that way if Bella drops out, she’s got him to answer to!
Finally convinced, Colby agrees under one condition—that Bella attend all her counselling sessions. Bella’s face quickly drops as Colby tells her that he knows she missed her last session with Patricia.
Bella promises to attend her session that afternoon, and it seems everything is finally going to work out.
However later that afternoon, Bella phones Patricia and tells her she can’t make their appointment….
Later in the week, Bella excitedly tells Ryder and Nik that she’s now enrolled in TAFE, and she’s extremely grateful to Nik for his help.
As Bella and Nik continue to spend time together, it’s clear that there’s a spark between them.
“Bella is a bit in denial at first, because she’s never really experienced these feelings before,” Courtney told New Idea magazine. “But she likes the fact that Nikau has a very similar past to hers. They can talk about similar things and understand each other.”
Ryder is concerned for Bella however, after realising that she’s skipped her counselling session again.
As he observes Bella letting Nik win a pool game and her continued flirting with him, he tells her that he’s worried about her mental health—she shouldn’t be using Nik as a distraction. Bella tells Ryder to back off.
Ryder is also worried about Bella’s wellbeing if Nik was to make a move on her, after Bella’s horrific ordeal with Tommy last year.
He tries to sound Nik out about whether he likes Bella, and to warn him to tread carefully with her. Nik gets the wrong end of the stick however, and thinks that Ryder is in love with Bella himself and is trying to put Nik off.
Ryder explains his dilemma to Roo, who tells him he cannot tell Nik about Bella’s past, no matter how much he wants to protect her. It’s not his place.
But later that afternoon Ryder heads over to see Nik again, determined to tell him the truth—is he about to make a huge mistake and destroy his friendship with Bella?
Here’s the full spoilers and a picture slideshow for next week in the UK.
Episodes will air on Channel 5 on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1:15pm. There is no repeat airing at 6pm.
Monday 4th May – Episode 7298
Bella shocks Colby with the prospect of leaving school. A medical emergency puts Jasmine to the test.
Wednesday 6th May – Episode 7299
Ryder puts his friendship with Bella on the line when he sees her heading for a fall. Ben throws caution to the wind for the sake of his family.
Friday 8th May – Episode 7300
Justin and Leah continue to slowly navigate Leah’s healing after trauma. Ryder wrestles with telling Nikau the truth about Bella. A mysterious stranger arrives at the Astoni house.