Everything I had been raised to believe is a lie.
Prayer became the voice of dishonesty.
Manipulation was disguised as faith.
Abuse was masquerading as devotion.
And the man I worshipped as a leader, as a father, has been revealed to be a monster.
The only choice I have is to run.
To leave The Gathering of the Sun behind me and try to build a new life in a world I have been told is full of evil and corruption. A world that will destroy me.
Love will be my guide. Bastian will help me search for the girl I could have been. The girl who was erased by the people claiming to be my family.
But hope is a fragile thing. Holding onto it in the face of fear and doubt feels almost impossible. Because even the sun can’t keep the clouds at bay.
And I’ve learned the only thing I can do is walk into the storm.
I was raised to believe in things you can’t see.
It is the foundation of everything. I am taught to accept the unacceptable. To embrace the terrifying.
Because I have a purpose. I have been trained for my calling for as long as I can remember. As an acolyte for the Gathering of the Sun, I am taught that my life isn’t my own. I worship. I serve. And when the time comes, I will greet my fate with open arms and a sin free heart.
People call us a cult.
We are judged. We are ridiculed and reviled. Pastor Carter tells me they will be lost when the end comes. So we hide ourselves away from their sick and dangerous world. And my soul is safe because I follow the path.
I am the perfect disciple. I am confident in my devotion.
Until doubt arrives wearing the face of a boy I never expected to love.
Bastian doesn’t follow the path. His destiny is his own. He paints me a picture of a beautiful world. His words contradict everything I have been told.