My beloved caught me in the act of shoving the sharp end of a shovel into the ground. He stammered an unintelligible protest as I pushed on the handle to pry the roots of a spent shrub from the ground.
Finding his voice, he spurted, "Don't do that!"
"Why?" I answered, stepping on the long arm of my garden implement. Popping sounds rose from the ground.
"Because I like gardenias," he said in defense of my victims.
"These gardenias look awful. They're showing their age and then some. You can't like these," I told him and continued with my task.
"I can," he rebuked. He justified his stance by adding, "I like you."