Photo by Luca Upper on Unsplash

I got a terrible fever over the past weekend and what I wanted more than anything was apple juice. I even got a lecture from the cashier at the corner gas station because I should actually be drinking “orange juice” and that “apple juice” contained all sugar.

I didn’t care. I still wanted my damn apple juice.

It’s only because when I was a kid, my parents would always give me apple juice when I would have a fever to make me feel better. That’s the one thing I remembered, and it felt like a little treat after feeling like a hot and miserable toaster strudel. Since then, I would only crave apple juice when I was sick.

Well now that I’m over my sickness, I decided to finally get out of this funk I’ve been in from writing. Instead of tuning into my usual Spotify playlists, I realized I made a playlist in college called smooth jazz. My mom didn’t let me listen to much hip-hop when I was a kid, and it was always smooth jazz at home and in the car.

The sounds of Peter White, Bob James, and Four Play brought calmness over me — one I haven’t felt in such a long time. It’s been some time since I listened to the gang that brought me back to those hot summer days in San Bernadino, where our black stereo box sat in the kitchen of our small tiny apartment on the second floor. While my mom would be reading, I would be coloring, and we’d sit at the table listening to music.

It made me realize that even during the “bad times” or what I thought were “bad” (when I was a toaster strudel), were the little things that I would find joy in later in life.

Things like apple juice and smooth jazz.

March 05, 2018/ Akina Chargualaf/

Originally published at

Human who likes to write about human things: mindfulness, connections, and five-line stories.