My name is Griff Goodman, before the outbreak I was just your average Joe. Grew up in the Netherlands, struggled throughout my teens, did not really do well in high-school, did not really accomplish much in life, just went from job to job, struggling to find meaning.
At age 23 I met this incredible woman, Ilena, at a bar in a crappy hotel I stayed in for work. She had roughly the same background as I did but she was from Chernarus, and we clicked. Fast forward 3 years. I moved to Chernarus to live with her. Turned out, the little money I did make in the Netherlands was worth a lot more in Chernarus, so I decided to take the leap.
I was happy. For a short while anyway.
We were doing great and everything was smooth sailing for once in my life. I had planned on asking her to marry me, so I went out and bought a nice engagement ring. We had an apartment in Elektro and I took her all the way out to the cabins up near Green Moutain, to have some nice quiet time to relax, and for me to mentally prepare to pop the question at the end of the week.
The fucking night of the proposal.
A wailing siren.
Whatever, probably just a drill, happens more often here in Chernarus than the monthly test in the Netherlands for whatever reason.
This is not gonna ruin my moment. Our moment.
Of course. Heavy rain.
So heavy that the sound of the raindrops hitting the thin roof of the cabin we were in created a very distinct white noise on the background. Pleasant under different circumstances. Quite annoying at this very moment. A few hours passed. Same rainfall.
Not. Gonna. Ruin. Our. Moment.
I'm gonna do it right here and now. Fuck it.
I put on some Barry White to drown out the sound of the rain and create a mellow atmosphere, and then I purposefully untied my shoelace, because I knew she would mention it because she was just thoughtful like that. Fair enough: "Bear" (She called me that) "your lace has come loose"
As I reach for my shoe, I pull out the ringbox and just look up presenting it, staring at her. She drops the book she was holding and held both of her hands in front of her mouth. She started tearing up. Tears of happiness. Yes, I did too, a bit. I told her how I felt and and her answer was a stuttery "y-y-yes, of-ofcourse, YES!"
I stood up, was over the moon, head in the clouds.
I leaned in for the kiss.
Out of nowhere, a window just burst with so much force, dozens of tiny pieces of glass were being scattered across the floor. I reacted instinctively. Grabbed her by the shoulders, let myself fall, and dragged her with me so she would fall on top of me and my body would break the fall for her.
A man covered in thick very dark red, almost black blood climbed through the window, his arms full of glass. He jumped on Ilena. And before I could even process what was going. He just sank his teeth into her neck.
I was totally out of it. Everything moved in slow motion as I tried to grasp what the fuck was going on.
I got a glimpse of the man's eyes. I did not know what I saw. Still panicked myself, the man crawled over to me gripping my leg. I snapped back into it and started kicking like a mad man. I managed to kick the blood covered man off of me, grabbed a piece of glass, and thrusted it into his chest. The man kept coming for me.
"WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS GOING ON" - I screamed out loud.
I kept stabbing the man with one arm, holding him off with the other. In a frenzied rage I pushed the man to the floor and just stomped on his head with my untied shoe.
Over. And. Over. And. Over. Again.
A blackred pulp is what was left on the place where the man's head used to be when I stopped. I was breathing heavily, eyes wide open, staring at what I just did. I collapsed and started crying hysterically.
The next few months are all a hazy blurr. I learned that, that "man" was no longer human. I learned about the outbreak, what it did. I mostly kept to myself. I slowly made it back to Elektro. Clothes all ragged, dirty to the core. When I went into our apartment, it hit me.
She's never coming back.
I grabbed a bottle of Dalwhinnie 15y old single malt I kept, and sat just in the corner of the living room for the better part of an hour. Bottle in my left hand. An FX-45 which I got off the corpse of a soldier. 2 rounds left. I pressed the gun to the side of my head. Closed my eyes. Saw her vividly. Entered a dreamlike state. It will be over soon. I will be there soon.
Steadily I increased the pressure on the trigger..
"HEEEEEELP, PLEASE HELP ME"
I snapped out of it. Gasped for air. Ran out. Pistol in hand. Drunk as an Irishman on Friday.
There was a man, white coat, green gloves, white pants, about to be bitten by an infected. As I stumbled towards them, I aimed my gun at the head of the infected. I shot. The infected turned around towards me and the man let out a shriek.
I had shot the man in his lower left arm. I just stood there, drunk and confused. The man got up, pulled the pistol out of my hand and with a swift and precise motion shot the infected clean between the eyes. I just looked at him, still confused. "You're welcome jackass, my name is Hans van Dam, what's yours?" A thick Dutch accent. A Dutch name. HOLY SHIT. What are the odds.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, we became good friends. Hans used to be a doctor, unsuccessful finding a job in the Netherlands, moved to Chernarus, working in the hospital at Cherno but lived in Elektro. Only a couple of blocks away from us. We never met before all this.
Hans convinced me to try and make this world a better place for the souls that still inhibit it. He made me realize Ilena would have wanted me to try and make an effort to bring a bit piece of humanity in this alienated world.
So for now, we are moving from place to place, trying to help wherever we can. Who knows what we will achieve, as long as we keep our humanity...