Does physics account for interactions between light and matter ever being "not completed" or backed out of?
Here's what led me to the question. In learning about interference in light, I ended up concluding that destructive interference must occur in the realm of the light's interaction with matter. In other words, that the light is not interfering while traveling in space, but always in conjunction with landing on some surface. So that, in a sense, destructive interference is as much a property of matter as it of light.
But according to this picture that I formed, the absorption of a light-wave or photon by an atom (maybe not in all interactions) can be reversed, that is, before being completed. For, when we look at how the field of optics deals with destructive interference in, say, the double-slit experiment, we see that it's always a function of the difference in distance, and hence time traveled by the waves to a single point, that gives the interference. So that one wave has already made contact with the point before the other arrives...yet they're both rejected/ejected, resulting in the effect of destructive interference (no delivery of energy) at that point and moment.
That's how I arrived at my question: Is there any such concept in physics of interactions between light and matter, especially light-absorption, being backed out of, or "reversed," before being completed?