Today is Saturday. No school. Zak said that he was gonna go out for a bit. Since news of his fathers accident, he just wants to clear his head out a bit. Bilinda tells him he has to be home by 10, and to come back in one whole piece. And of course, no trouble making. Zak really loves Bilinda. When he was a child, they'd have long phone conversations. Once in a while, they'd see each other in person. Not often, but enough to last him a while. He's not used to having to abide by rules or have any curfews. His father was a bodyguard at a bar when he and Bilinda had their little fling, so Carl still had a ton of party connections which happened nightly in their run-down shack. Even though he was raised in chaos, Zak wanted to make his mother proud of him. He listens to her advice and heads on out to the park for a quiet game of chess
Back over in Upton's world, he starts thinking about the sweet pianist he had met a few days prior. He's never been in a relationship before, but there's something he can't quite describe about her that makes him madly interested in her. Knowing where she lives, which was right down the street from his house, Upton knocks on the door and Fiona invites him inside. Once their small talk is over with, Upton decides to push himself a bit. He walks behind her, and gives her a nice shoulder massage. While massaging her, Upton asks her a question. He asks if they could be a couple.....but the relationship would be an open one and not exclusive. Upton explains that he wants to be with her, but he's not ready for a complete commitment just yet. Fiona giggles, and tells him he needn't butter her up with a massage, because she feels the same exact way. She's in a new city with the world waiting for her. She's not ready to be tied down, either. They are now in a nice, open relationship
Early the next day, Bilinda tells Zak not to make any plans for after school tomorrow. She is going to be taking him somewhere tomorrow, but she wants to keep it a secret "surprise" for him
Zak reluctantly agrees to this. Even though he is beginning to put his trust in other people's hands, he doesn't want to put himself in a vulnerable position. This wouldn't be the first time that someone had a "surprise" for him, only to turn into the complete opposite.
After school, at around 1 o'clock, Bilinda pulls up to the school and tells Zak they're now getting ready to go to their destination
Zak can tell that Bilinda is apprehensive. She's trembling a bit and being a bit shifty eyed. Now, the apprehension is making it's way towards him. But, he keeps quiet about it. He needs to try to depend on others once in a while and not just on himself.
Turns out, Bilinda has taken Zak to the hospital. She expressed to him before they went in that she had set him up with some counseling. No, not because she thinks he's crazy, but because he could really use some of the tools they could teach him
Zak, even after hearing Bilinda's reasoning, was pretty miffed about the whole thing. He was no stranger to the counseling scene. Even in school, he was forced to see counselors. All of his previous experience with these supposed helpful people have been nothing but awful. They were all quick to point the finger in his direction claiming he needed to be institutionalized, on medication or a combination of the two. They'd also diagnose him with every mental disorder in the book. He never once believed that he had mental problems, but after hearing it so many times, he often wondered if he was indeed a basket case. But...at the same time, he thinks he could use the counseling. With his mom, she doesn't do any finger pointing. She understands his hurt, his anger and his frustration. With this in mind, he knows he could at least reciprocate and give counseling a shot.
After the counseling, Bilinda noticed a bit of a weight was lifted off of Zak's shoulders. She had to be at work at the Bistro in a few minutes, but she gave him a few thousand of the 16,000 dollars he received from the will his father had left. Zak decided to invest in some things that the counselor had suggested to him, which were hobbies he was interested in and other things that would keep him out of trouble. He had opted to buy some martial arts equipment and an easel so he could indulge his artsy side once in a while
Zak has even become a fan of meditating in his spare time. It brings his frantic mind at ease. Having someone to talk to has opened Zak up to himself and who he truly can be in this life. He's also learned a very valuable skill: forgiveness. Even though his father was no longer around, Zak has now come to some peace with all of their problems
Bilinda has now incorporated these counseling sessions into Zak's schedules three times a week, which would happen an hour after school would let out. Since Zak had to go in so soon after school, he'd often do his homework at the park right before his sessions
At his latest session, his counselor suggested he get a part-time job. The counselor claimed it would teach Zak responsibility and all of that good stuff. Zak thought it was a splendid idea. It would offer him some time out of the house, extra spending money and a chance to socialize. But where could he get a job? Sunset Valley somewhat lacks in the teen job department, but he figured a job at the bookstore would be great
After securing a new job, Zak was beaming inside with pride. He'd never felt proud of himself before, but he was beginning to like this new feeling. Once Zak arrived home, he talked to his mother about the job he had just gotten
Bilinda even teased Zak a bit about how with his discount, there could be actual books sitting on their empty bookshelf
Hopefully, Zak can keep up the good work.