We walked past the bush on the Chico State campus, and I could smell it. Something delicious.
So I turned and looked, and saw a bush laden with gardenias. Heavy with them. Now I don't know about you, but that's not an everyday sight around here. I've seen a small gardenia bush (my mother has one, and she treasures every blossom). It was the largest group of gardenias I'd seen outside a wedding or a flower stall.
And they were gorgeous, and perfect, and did I mention? They smelled like heaven.
So, I did what any normal woman would do in the same situation. I lost my head (and my ethics!) and I stole a gardenia. And not just any gardenia, I found the most perfect,unblemished one to take with me.
It sat in my lap for the whole four hour drive back from Chico. Now it's in my kitchen, perfuming the room. Every time I walk in I take a deep breath. So, maybe it was wrong to pick the flower. But I don't regret it for an instant.