Hello,my name is Matthew Murdock. I am a lawyer at the Sharpe,Nelson, and Murdock law firm. I am blind just as several others are across the expanse of our nation. I believe that everyone around me believes that I lead a fairly normal existence ....

They couldn't have been more wrong....

At night, I am a devil that lurks in the darkness, striking fear into the hearts of those whom dare leave the sanctity of their homes to blend into the darkness. I crush those that would prey upon the innocent and I feed upon their fear. For I am Daredevil. The man without fear.

She is Karen Page. My love--My former--I'm not even sure what to call her anymore -- But as I stand here watching her sleep from the guest bedroom door, I can't help but wonder who or what she dreams of or to what fantastic places her dreams may take her. Unfortunately, I cannot ponder that question long. The wailing sirens in the distance beckon me to the outside world to which I protect without fear.

I leaped out of my apartment window as I do every night, but tonight there was a strange stillness within the air, and I found myself bounding toward the convent to where I could see her after I had changed.

The old wooden doors creaked with that erie sound that always frightened me as a child as I pushed them open to reveal the solemn sanctions of the Catholic Monastery. The usual hum of muttered prayer and confession filtered my ears as I slowly walked down the isle with the crimson red carpet crushing underneath my feet. She was here. She had to be here. She was always here.

As I passed the large oil painting of the Madonna in front of the alter, I couldn't help but stop and stare at the way she cradled the young babe within her small, tender arms. I turned with as a pang of jealousy filled my heart, wishing that my own mother had been there to have done such things, but...would things have resulted in the way they were if mother had not have left?

I shook my head as I pushed the black, wooden double doors open, exiting the chapel and entering deeper into the musty convent itself. The nuns quietly exchanged fearful, and yet curious looks, as I passed them by without so much as a nod of greeting. Where was she? Where was my mother?!

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a small figure juggling a basket of clothing, and even underneath the same conformity of clothing that the others wore, I knew at that moment, I was looking at my mother.

Without her knowledge I followed her to the large, somewhat empty storage closet, and stood a short distance away as I watched her quietly place the basket down at her feet. "Matthew..."Her voiced trailed, not even bothering to turn around to face me. I don't know what unnerved me more: the fact that she could not have seen me behind her or the gentle calmness within her own voice. I shrugged it off as mother's intuition as I followed her down the darkened hallway illuminated by various stained glass windows, the oddly cast shadows making her seem almost ghostlike as she continued on at a slow, methodical pace. Ironic, as it were, of her own involvement in my life: never physically there to comfort my hurts or to heal my pains, but always there to comfort my heart in her own hauntingly mysterious way.

She finally turned into a small, ill-lit room and sat upon an old wooden stood as I sat upon the old springy cot that had been slept upon by many visitors before me. She looked over me with those serene gray eyes as I studied her wrinkled, aging face for some sort of answer.

"Why have you come back, Matthew?" She spoke softly as though she were talking to a wounded animal or a small child.

I racked my brain for an answer that I just could not find. Something had brought me here. Something within the air and within my gut told me that I would find the answer to an ungiven question within the walls of this convent, and perhaps within her.

"I'm...not sure..." I finally spoke, letting a little bit of uncertainty that I had hoped to hide enter into my voice. I hung my head and wrung my hands in a desperate manner as we sat in silence as if she expected me to continue. There was nothing left to say.

"Have you taken it to the Lord?" She asked quietly with those gray inquisitive eyes that always seemed to pierce the most vulnerable spot in my somewhat hardened heart.

"No, I haven't." I answered sharply with a hint of cynicism that I did not mean to force upon my mother.

She slowly stood and placed her delicate, old hand upon my tensed shoulder, and I had to restrain myself from pulling back away from her. "Then, perhaps, it is finally time that you should." She said softly, withdrawing her hand from my shoulder.

As her footsteps echoed down the long, stone corridor once more, I brought myself to my feet and silently pondered my mother's words.

Once again, I found myself following this mysterious feeling within the pit of my stomach into the chapel in an almost trancelike state. I would have done anything to have shaken the feeling that I was being purposely led somewhere as though someone wanted me to experience something.

I froze as I took one step into the chapel. Karen was sitting in the third row from the front with her head bowed as streaks of tears streamed down her make-upless face. I could hear her heart pounding from the doorway as I began to take the second step into the chapel and then the third. After what seemed to be an eternity, she glanced up me with pleading reddened eyes, and I began to make my approach. As I sat beside her, she threw her arms around me and wept bitterly into my chest. After what seemed to be an eternity, she glanced up me with pleading reddened eyes, and I began to make my approach. As I sat beside her, she threw her arms around me and wept bitterly into my chest.

" Matt..."She cried. "I have...AIDS."


My first instinct was to withdraw my arms from her and create some distance between her and myself. Then my heart metaphysically backhanded me with force of a gale wind, and my sense of reasoning reassured me of how safe I really was and how idiotic I had been.

She must have noticed me stiffen in repulsion because she looked deeply within my red-tinted glasses as if I could look back into her own. There were times when I wish I could tell her that I wasn't blind. Times like this, where I could meet her sorrowful gaze, and reassure her with my own. But wishing never got anyone anywhere. I just have to handle one crisis at a time.

"Matt...?" She asked in a quiet whimper.

"....."

I couldn't find an answer within me. Everything seemed so distant from me as though it were all a surreal nightmare that would recover from in the morning.

"Do you hate me, Matt?" She whispered.

I suddenly, with no thought whatsoever, wrapped my arms around her shoulders and held her closely to me, listening to her quiet sobs and her racing heartbeat as she wept bitterly into my chest. I softly rested my chin upon her shoulder as I felt her warm tears soak through my blue shirt and penetrate to my heart. I felt a small tear well-up in my own eye, and I blinked it away, knowing that I had to be strong one.

"No." I said softly, but firmly. And I meant it.

She suddenly pulled away from me, and I slowly raised my chain as she repositioned herself upon the church pew. She looked me directly in the eye.


They say I am the man without fear. They don't know how wrong they are. When you stare at the woman you love, know that death has it's ugly grasp around her, and then be hit with the sudden realization that she'll have left your life forever--When you have to stare death in the face, and realize that it's the face of a loved one--That's true fear. And maybe, for the first time in my life, I truly knew what fear was.

I only nodded at her and mustered my best assuring look as I wrapped my arms around her once more. "We'll work through this,Karen....I promise."

If I only knew how to keep that promise....

**************

It's midnight. I turned on my bedside lamp, finally admitting that sleep was a hopeless cause. Thinking that some midnight air might soothe my churning stomach and my wrecked mind, I changed into my costume, and plunged off of my balcony into the blackened night.

As much a tried to focus upon that lonely roof, my mind continuously wondered back to Karen, and how we would live through another obstacle fate had thrown in our paths...

"BLAST IT!" I kicked an empty trash can, sending a loud crash vibrating throughout the city. I kicked it again, in all of my fury, never feeling so helpless in all my life. "WHY?!" I managed through gritted teeth as I threw the trash can across the roof, somewhat relieving my anger.

"Why what?"

I spun around, I had been so distracted by my fury that I had failed to even notice that someone had joined me on the roof. Natasha sat on the balls of her feet as she watched me from the height of a large air conditioner. I felt slightly embarrassed that I had let my guard up, but even more angry with my situation and the world.

"People are going to find you up here, if you keep making all that noise." She sighed. "I thought the devil was discreet." She said in almost a mocking tone as I turned my back from her.

"I don't care." I managed to mutter in a calm, deliberate voice, although I knew Natasha knew otherwise. I clenched my fist as I tried to retain my anger.

"Matt, don't lie to me." Natasha said sharply. "Tell me what's wrong."

"Nothing is wrong, Natasha. I just want to be left alone." I said sharply. I saw her shrug as I glanced over my shoulder and sighed.

"Personal problems?" She asked with a hint of interest.

If Natasha could have seen the pain....

"....."
I refused to answer, or rather, I could not answer and maintain the level calmness in my voice. Natasha could not see me like this, and I couldn't tell my ex-lover something about my current one. I may have shown her a feral side of myself that may have been unknown to her, but I still had my reputation and partial sense of tact.

A scream shattered the awkward silence, and for once, I was glad to hear the shrill scream of a woman as she tried to pry her purse away from a nameless thug. Without a word to Natasha, I sprung the roof, launching my billy club at nearby lamp post. I watched it as it wrapped around the horizontal bar, and I felt the rope tighten within my hands.

With both feet extended, I slammed into the thug, causing him to fall backwards, doubled over in pain as the woman grabbed her purse and ran. I left him laying there--broken,bloody, and beaten, but not lethally injured--And as I walked away, I heard him shout several obscenities at me.

I walked on knowing that only I knew the true meaning of those words now...

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