Better to Believe in a Lie Than Nothing

by Matt Triewly

I am sitting in the tranquil tea gardens of Quarr Abbey. Blue, blue sky and the sun beating down. Hot.

I'm with Della. She's a handsome looking woman: thick curly dark hair; pale complexion; hazel eyes; neat features.

A couple of hours previously we had been fucking in my bed. I had savoured her naked body and ran my hands over her ivory flesh. I had sucked her ample breasts and penetrated her dark and thick black triangle. She had shivered when she had come - it was a response unique to her - and her legs were gripped between mine as I too climaxed. We had embraced for a while after. And then she had stated: "It smells of sex in here. I like that."

I had cooked her breakfast: bacon and eggs.

Easy like Sunday morning...

I had recalled the tune in my head.


Sitting here on a rustic bench amongst the carefully tended greenery; the distant and muted roar of the traffic; the murmur of the other patrons; monks in their long robes, wearing enigmatic expressions, occasionally wandering past.


"Do you think we could still be friends if we ever split up?’" she says.

"No." I’m blunt.

I speculate that maybe I could love Della.

Why has she said that?

Better to believe in a lie than nothing.

A phrase, a thought, unbidden forces itself into my mind. It is an intruder.

Better. To. Believe. In. A. Lie. Than. Nothing.

What does it mean? Is it a subconscious reaction to the trappings of religion surrounding me? A warning not to be entranced by the illusion of religion.

We continue to chat. The subject is changed.

We finish our drinks and catch the bus back to Ryde. We then walk to Puckpool. Eat brown bread prawn sandwiches at Dell's Café: The sun glinting off Spinnaker Tower across the Solent; people lounging on the golden sands; swimmers in the blue green sea.

Better to believe in a lie than nothing.

I walk her back to the Hovercraft Terminal. I wave to her on the craft as it slides off the slipway, turns and heads to Southsea.

I think of her back home across the sea; near but so far.

Better to believe in a lie than nothing.

I make my way home.

Back in my flat I pick up a scrap of paper and a red marker pen. I clumsily scrawl in capital letters: BETTER TO BELIEVE IN A LIE THAN NOTHING. I secure it to my fridge with a magnet.

Every day I pass it and see it.

What does it mean? What does it mean to me?

Truth is subjective.

I conclude that you can't believe in nothing; it's a paradox.

Without God life has no value. No. Without belief in God life has no value. But it is the value that is God; value is God.

My mind is at peace; but not for long.

Better to believe in a lie than nothing.

It still troubles me.

Della dumped me a year later - no real reasons.

Do you know what?

I could have loved her.

Better to believe in a lie than nothing.

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