It was a beautiful Sunday morning when the Hardy men, 18-year-old Frank, 17-year-old Joe, and their father Fenton, were packing up for their yearly “Men’s Retreat” that they’ve been taking ever since the boys were 6 and 7. This year they were going to the gorgeous Miami Beach in Florida. Fenton and Frank had both packed the night before because their flight was scheduled to leave at 8 am. So while they were downstairs waiting, Joe, of course, waited till the last minute to pack. “Come on Joe! The plane’s going to leave without us!” yelled Fenton to his youngest son.
“I’m coming!” the 6 foot blond yelled back, coming down the stairs. He set his suitcases next to his father’s and brother’s and said, “Okay, let’s go!” He looked up to see them staring at him with their arms crossed. “What?” he asked.
“It’s about time,” Frank said as their dad rolled his eyes, picked up his suitcases, and took them to the cab that was waiting. “You know, you do this every year; wait till the last minute to pack, making us late for the plane. One of these days we’re going to leave without you,” he continued, picking up his suitcases and following their dad to the cab with Joe right behind.
Joe smiled. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You say that every year and you never do it. You love me too much to leave me behind!” he beamed.
The 6 foot 1 brunette rolled his brown eyes and scoffed at his brother. “That’s what you think,” he mumbled, putting the suitcases in the trunk of the cab.
Joe glared at him with his blue eyes, making Frank laugh. “Hey, hey. Let’s be nice here. Remember, this is a vacation, we’re supposed to enjoy ourselves,” Fenton said, standing between his sons with his arms around their shoulders.
“It’s no vacation with Frank here,” mumbled Joe. He ducked when Frank’s hand went around Fenton and tried to smack him across the head.
“Okay that’s enough,” Fenton told his sons in a firm voice, yet he couldn’t stop laughing. “Now,” he said in a serious tone, “there will be none of that on this vacation. Whatever wisecrack, comment, or anything you have can be saved until we get home. Deal?”
Frank and Joe looked at each other. “Deal,” they said in unison, shaking each other’s hand.
“Good, now let’s go!” their dad said, getting in the taxi with his sons right behind him. He told the driver where to go and before they knew it, they were getting on the airplane, heading to Florida.
A few hours later, the plane landed in Miami. The men got off, got their luggage, and hailed a taxi. Soon they were on their way to the hotel that they made reservations for. They got two rooms that adjoined, both with beautiful views of the ocean; Fenton in one and the boys in the other. “So, what should we do first?” asked their dad, who was sitting in one of the chairs in the boys’ room.
“We could go surfing?” suggested Joe, who was putting his stuff away. Fenton and Frank nodded in agreement. “Sweet. Let’s get suited up then!” he said excitedly.
Fenton went back to his room and in a few minutes, all three were in their trunks, their rented surfboards in hand, and were headed towards the beach. When they got there, Fenton picked out a nice spot to sit while he watched his sons go out in the water. They even got to meet and hang out with some kids that were around their age. Of course it wasn’t long before both boys got some of the girls’ numbers. After they said goodbye, they went to where their father was napping. “Hey dad,” they said.
Fenton woke up in a start. “Oh, hey boys,” he said, yawning and sitting up.
“Dad, if you’re too tired, we can always go back home,” Joe said with a smile.
Fenton shook his head. “No, I’m fine. So, how was the water?” he asked them. They began to tell him what had happened after he fell asleep, right up to the part where they got the phone numbers. “Of course,” their dad said, laughing. “I should have known that wherever we went, you boys would find some girls!”
The boys smiled. “Hey, where do you think we got these charming good looks from anyway?” Frank said.
“Not from ME, I know that!” their dad said jokingly, with the boys laughing. After a while, they packed up and left the beach. Frank and Joe had gone on ahead while their father was a few feet behind. The boys had turned a corner and walked a few feet when they heard their dad yell.
They both looked at each other for a split second before they ran around the corner to find a figure in the shadows leaning over another man, who they assumed was their father. “Hey!” Joe yelled, running towards the two men. The figure looked up and ran off, with Frank in hot pursuit behind him. “Dad!” Joe yelled when he reached his father. Fenton was unconscious and had a nasty cut above his eye. “Dad? Can you hear me?” he asked, receiving no answer.
He looked up when he heard footsteps running in his direction. He was relieved to see that it was his brother. “No use,” Frank panted, his hands on his knees. “I lost him. How is he?” he asked, coming closer.
“Not good,” responded his brother. “He has a cut above his eye and he’s unconscious. We have to get him to the hospital,” he said, looking at Frank.
Frank nodded. “Okay. I think that guy might still be around here, so no use for you staying here and me getting help,” he said. “The hotel’s not far from here. We have enough strength to carry him there,” he continued.Frank and Joe carefully picked their father up, swung his arms around their shoulders, and walked towards their hotel. When they got there, they told the clerk to call 911 and ask for the police and an ambulance. A few minutes later, both had arrived and had taken the Hardy’s to the nearest hospital.