It had been one year since his quirkless diagnosis. No one really wanted to play with Izuku anymore, not with the teachers chastising, “you have to be gentle with Izuku” after every little bruise or rough tumble. Slowly, he was growing alone.
While at age 5 his whole class had been invited to his birthday, nowadays birthdays were a subdued affair. He hardly had any friends to invite.
His mother had been taking more shifts at the hospital lately. Izuku had thought that her position as a lab technician paid well, but he supposed since now his father had moved to America, she would have to increase her hours to pay for things now.
Despite how quiet his last birthday had been, Izuku was still incredibly excited for his 7th birthday. A day where everyone focused on him and gave him presents… he ached for positive attention. He went to bed extra early so he could get to morning faster, but found himself too excited to sleep. After an hour of tossing and turning, though, he managed to fall asleep.
You’ll feel disappointment and dismay
For you have no friends who wish to play.
Izuku snapped awake. What was that? Some kind of weird dream?
The words echoed in his mind. Feeling worried, he stumbled out of bed and went to go say hi to his mama. “Mama, it’s my birthday!” Izuku announced, trying to make sure she remembered.
She looked troubled. “Izuku…”
“I’m so excited for my party!” Izuku said, bad dream half-forgotten.
“I… just got a call,” she said, uncertainly. “I have to take another shift at the hospital.”
“Oh, so you have to leave after the party?”
“No, they need me during the party,” she said quietly, “which means… we can’t have it.”
Izuku’s face screwed up, and within a few moments there were tears pouring out of his eyes. “B-but Mama! You promised!”
“I know, I know, sweetie. Aw, don’t cry,” she said, putting a hand on his head. “We can go get ice cream afterwards. Just you and me, honey?”
Izuku sniffed. “I mean… I guess…”
“It’s been a long time since we did something together,” she said. “I’m sure we’ll have so much fun!”
Later in life, Izuku would discover that the reason his mother “had another shift” was that no one had RSVPed to come to his party, and she didn’t want to disappoint him with an empty room. No friends who wanted to play.
… for now, Izuku wondered who that voice had been, and why they’d been right about his birthday party.