Hollyoaks' Nancy Hayton and had an emotional breakthrough in tonight's episode (July 6), having previously vowed not to attend the funeral of late fiancé Kyle Kelly.
Kyle (Adam Rickitt) took his own life in tragic scenes last month, devastating Nancy – who had no idea about how he was feeling – and those closest to him. In the weeks that followed, Nancy (Jessica Fox) began to be consumed with guilt over not being able to help her struggling partner.
In the soap's latest instalment, her friends Darren (Adam Booth), Mandy (Sarah Jayne Dunn), Luke (Gary Lucy) and Cindy (Stephanie Waring) rallied around a bed-ridden Nancy to try and get her to change her mind about not showing her face at the formal event.
"I just want to be on my own," she told Darren, as he insisted she be there. "It's my fault he's dead. I can't do it. I can't face all of those people knowing that they're blaming me.
"Maybe if I'd been more attentive, or been there more when Kyle needed me... When I think about all the things I put him through, when I miscarried. I knew how devastated he was afterwards, and I just got angry with him.
"I felt like his grief was one more thing that I had to deal with. I told him that losing the baby was fate," she continued.
But she was shaken out of her downward spiral when a tearful Darren opened up about his own struggles with depression.
"I put the idea in his head in the first place," he explained. "I told him I was thinking about it... A few weeks ago, it just got too much, and he found me up on a roof. He managed to talk some sense into me and made me realise that the thoughts I was having would pass. I wish I could have done the same for him."
When Darren admitted that Nancy was the only person he had told, she insisted he talk to partner Mandy.
Later, Cindy suggested that Mandy purposefully try to rile Nancy up as a way to get her to move on to the 'anger' stage of grief – and after she called her "short" and over-dramatic, it seemed her plan had worked, too.
Stomping into the living room, Nancy explained that Kyle had restored her faith in love after finding out that Darren was cheating on her with Mandy, and that she'd convinced herself that he would never leave her.
"You never had an inkling we were together, did you?" Mandy replied, curiously. "It's true, right? You had no idea, whatsoever. We hid it really well. We did everything we could. We went out of our way to cover our tracks and to keep it from you, just like Kyle did with his depression."
"How could you possibly have known he needed help?" Luke added, as Darren looked on – realising that he needs to open up about his own issues – beside him.
Later, Nancy agreed to go to the funeral, realising that Kyle's death wasn't her fault.
Hollyoaks currently airs new episodes on Mondays and Tuesdays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, with first look screenings at 7pm on E4. Classic episodes, titled Hollyoaks Favourites, air on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 7pm on E4.
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
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