Next week on Home and Away in the UK, Bella secretly returns to Summer Bay, but her eventual reunion with Nikau isn’t what he hoped for during a stressful time. Elsewhere, Leah Patterson faces a terrifying incident after hours at the diner…
Nikau (Kawakawa Fox-Reo) has been far from impressed with his mother Gemma’s (Bree Peters) burgeoning friendship with the recently separated Ben Astoni (Rohan Nichol).
It’s less than a year since his father Mikaere’s death, and he feels that Gemma is being disrespectful to his memory, despite her insistence that she and Ben are just friends.
But when Gemma doesn’t come home one night, after he witnessed her and Ben chatting at Salt, Nik knows exactly what’s going on and who she’s with.
Whilst Gemma did go back to Ben’s motel room and the two shared a kiss, they quickly decided that things would go no further, it was too soon for both of them. Instead, the two had a heart-to-heart about their respective marriages, before holding each other as they went to sleep.
Gemma panics the next morning, and after quickly thanking Ben, rushes home to a curious household.
Nik rips into Gemma before she has chance to explain, and she responds by telling to get out and to not return until he’s learned some respect. He later apologises, but reinforces that he’s still not OK with her seeing Ben.
After Ben also faces an inquisition from Ziggy, he turns up at Gemma’s house and they both agree that their friendship should go no further than it already has.
Elsewhere in Summer Bay, Dean (Patrick O’Connor) receives an unexpected telephone call from Bella (Courtney Miller). Her treatment program is over and she wants him to pick her up… without big brother Colby (Tim Franklin) knowing.
It’s been six weeks since Colby was forced to take Bella to an equine therapy centre for intensive psychiatric care, after she self-harmed following her attempt to sleep with new beau Nik.
As things got heavy between the pair of them, feeling Nik’s weight on top of her brought back Bella’s traumatic memories of Tommy O’Reilly’s assault on her.
All seems well with the troubled teen as she jokes with Dean and Willow (Sarah Roberts) on the drive back to Summer Bay.
But as they reach the edge of town, Willow asks Bella if she’s sure about not telling Colby, and Bella suddenly asks Dean to pull over as she needs some air.
Willow is confused as she thought Bella would be very eager to get home after so long, but Bella admits that she’s dreading it.
Taking respite in the gym in order to avoid everyone, Bella tells Willow that she’s scared to see Colby. She’s made huge progress over the past few weeks, and is worried she’ll slip back into her old patterns on seeing Colby and only end up disappointing him.
As Willow offers to hang out with Bella at the gym whilst she works up the courage to return home, Dean feels it’s his duty to inform Colby of Bella’s return.
Although Colby’s angry at being the last to know, after talking to the centre he’s pleased to hear of how well Bella has reponded to the program, and takes their advice on being patient with Bella and letting her tell him her issues in her own time.
The siblings are finally reunited when Colby bumps into Bella in the surf club. Colby is wary of crowding Bella and offers to make himself scarce, but Bella has managed to get over her wobble and announces that she’s ready to go home.
Back at the apartment, Colby gives Bella some space to unpack her things and get settled, and in the privacy of her room pulls out three letters—addressed to Colby, Nikau and Irene.
Nik learns of Bella’s return after overhearing Colby talking to Tori (Penny McNamee) in the diner, and sends Bella a text asking if she’s OK.
He’s pleased when Bella decides to reply to him in person by calling around at the Parata house.
Although things are a little awkward, both are happy to see each other doing well. Bella explains that she can’t stay, as she hands a confused Nik his letter. She tells him that everything is explained in there.
When Nik reads the letter that evening however, he is heartbroken. Whilst Bella absolves him of any responsibility in what happened to her, she explains that she cannot be in a relationship with him right now, she needs to be on her own whilst she starts over.
The next day Nik heads over to Bella’s place to plead his case, if he hasn’t done anything wrong then why cut him out of her life, particularly when they haven’t even talked about what happened.
Bella explains she’s done nothing but talk about it with her counsellors, and tells him that he can’t change her mind.
As an upset Nik tells Bella that she’s just like everyone else, in making decisions that have a huge impact on him without considering his feelings, a newly calm and assertive Bella asks Nik to leave.
Turning up late to work at the bait shop, Alf (Ray Meagher) ends up bearing the brunt of Nik’s frustration. Refusing to be told what to do, Nik tells Alf to stick his job.
When Nik turns out at Salt for Evan’s gig later that day, she sees Gemma hug Ben as he arrives, and for Nik that’s the last straw.
He makes known his disapproval and storms out, telling Gemma that he won’t wait up as she’ll no doubt be in Ben’s motel room that night.
Having just arrived, Ben’s estranged wife Maggie (Kestie Morassi) is shocked by what she’s just heard.
When Gemma arrives home later, she tries again to explain her friendship with Ben to Nik, but he’s not interested. He tells her he’s going out, he’d rather be anywhere but there.
An equally angry Gemma throws him Ari’s black hoodie and tells him to go for it.
Meanwhile Leah is in the process of closing up the diner, getting ready to meet Justin at Salt.
Only a few seconds after leaving via the front door, it becomes obvious that Leah wasn’t alone, as a dark hooded figure waiting for her departure forces the pier side door open
The intruder heads straight for the till, but is suddenly disturbed when Leah realises she’s left her phone behind.
Darting behind the counter as Leah comes in, the intruder jumps up to make his escape as Leah approaches, forcefully pushing her out of the way as she screams. Leah ends up cowering in fear on the floor
“She hits the ground and is left in shock,” Ada told TV Week. “What’s troubling is the lasting effect this could have on her. It could bring her past trauma back to the surface.”
And Leah isn’t the only one who will be affected by the break-in, as it starts a chain of events which lead to huge repurcussions for various Summer Bay residents over the coming months!
Here’s the full spoilers for next week in the UK:
Monday 13th July (Episode 7346)
Ben and Gemma’s friendship stirs up more than just their emotions.
Evan is torn between revealing the truth and letting Ryder down.
Tuesday 14th July (Episode 7347)
Gemma and Ben’s families make navigating their feelings all the more tricky.
Marilyn struggles with being kept away from a recovering John.
Wednesday 15th July (Episode 7348)
John struggles with his new limitation.
Dean smuggles Bella back into the Bay.
Jasmine goes a little above and beyond when she discovers Grace is teething.
Thursday 16th July (Episode 7349)
Bella’s letters to Colby and Nikau have vastly different results.
Ryder does his best to make Evan’s gig a success.
Jasmine and Tori clash over Grace.
Friday 17th July (Episode 7350)
Everyone is gunning for Evan’s gig to be a success.
Ben and Maggie stop tiptoeing around each other.
Nikau is struggling with Gemma’s decisions.
Leah’s trauma might only just be starting.