Returning to The Scene

Gemma Mushington
2 min readJul 19, 2021

There are many reasons you do not return.

You do not return because, what does that say about you? Does it say that you’re lingering? That you’re guilty? That you’re not healed despite being very sure that you are and very vocal about just how healed you are now?

No scabs. No scars. There’s no evidence there, apart from what’s perhaps underneath the skin. And underneath the skin are so many other things. Your white blood cells have surely taken care of whatever was there before, attacking your system, killing you slowly. And now you’re immune. Oh so pleasantly immune! So, you return to the scene.

And at the scene, there’s no evidence there either. Not a single splash. Mopped up and painted over, at least a dozen times. And not just by you, but by the authorities you told, by Him, by those who came after you — in any capacity, those who took up the space either physically or emotionally or, I suppose, spiritually too. The spiritual replacements have it worse. Those poor ghosts.

Poor ghosts who see you too, wondering what you’re doing here, back at the scene. They see through you, in you, and they know why you’re here. In the hope, not to rewrite history, but to write something, anything else. What happened at the scene cannot be replaced, not like you were replaced, but you hope that it can be built upon. The history of it all remains. This includes before that day and that day and, let’s not forget, that day. There were things before. Hell, there were scenes before! The poor ghosts know that.

With the evidence gone but the scene remaining, what good (bad, neutral, nothing) are you here? That mattress is gone. That laptop is at it’s end. That clearing in the forest is surely covered in new leaves by now. The evidence that’s left isn’t at the scene at least. The scene becomes a setting. And what has happened there, there and, we certainly couldn’t forget, there, is done now.

We conclude that we are not, in fact, at the scene. But we have returned to a familiar setting of so much more than any specific scene. Therefore we can’t be guilty and lingering isn’t that bad of an offence. For all the other reasons, we’re glad the setting exists. And we understand that we, us poor ghosts, are not responsible for future occupants, ourselves included.

Gemma Mushington