This is some fiction based on the theme Abandon Hope, from the WriteOnEdge writing prompt.
"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here..." Dan's girlfriend whispered in his ear and squeezed his hand as they sat down at the Sushi restaurant.
Dan felt a miniature burst of adrenaline similar in quality to the burst one feels when a lover enters a room. He waited a moment to build the tension before opening his menu, even after his two friends and his girlfriend had.
He smiled secretly to himself then opened the sushi menu. The adrenaline momentarily sharpened his sense of smell and he could smell the roasted sesame oil from the table next to him. That made Dan smile even more secretly. And secretly even more.
Angie, his girlfriend, used her hand to still his bouncing knee.
"You're about to explode, aren't you."
"..........maybe. I'm not NOT about to explode." He gazed at the menu, his eyes darting from one item to the next. (Uni) Urchin. Tobiko (the eggs of flying fish). Partial to sashimi without the rice, but only just barely, he felt a paralysis of indecision. Saeweed salad, he had to have that. And spicy noodle soup with...but the tempura! His eyes moved from one item to the next.
He'd order it all if his funds were unlimited. But he had to choose. Every time, his mind froze up as if this was the last time he'd get to eat ever and it had to be a transcendent experience so he'd remember it and just the memory would nourish him for the rest of his life.
"You're not going to like what you get."
"I know it...." Dan felt the adrenaline and smiled secretly again.
Their friend James asked from across the table "What? You don't like sushi? We can go grab a burger...that's fine with me."
"No. No. He's in heaven right now." Angie waved her hand to dismiss the suggestion, "He loves sushi."
"I do." Dan said from behind the menu.
"I think it's just that we have to drive an hour to get to a sushi restaurant. So we only go once a year or so. He's got some weird fascination with Asian foods. Asian candies....he gets the most awful candies. Licorice lime. Bleh. It tastes like battery acid in salt."
Defensively and from behind his menu "Nuh uh. Okay. Maybe. But you say that like its a bad thing."
The waitress took everybody's order. Dan verbally oscillated between the soup and the Tako (Octopus) nagiri and the unagi rolls. "I'll have...the....unagi....I mean I just want the tako nagiri....wait....no...." Finally he got to the point of feeling stupid so resolved to stick with the last thing he said: "the spicy noodle soup". It was right there in the range of their budget and it looked good. Crab and shrimp and mussels. Hr ordered and stuck with it, feeling a sense of loss the rest of the meal.
His girlfriend turned and kissed him on his cheek, knowing he horribly missed the tempura. And the squid. And the urchin.