“It doesn't hurt to smile anymore,” Ashley Solesbee giggles.
Solesbee looks like a very different young lady than the last time we talked.
“Her face was swollen, one eye had just opened up and was bloodshot, the staples were still in her head,” her mother Lisa Solesbee describes.
“This is two weeks today,” Ashley says. “I'm just ready for normality, I'm ready to help Wesley get back to normality”
Ashley and her date Wesley Spires were brutally beaten while on their first date at the Riverwalk. After that beating, the community was outraged: Ashley says she isn't because she's moved on.
“If you hold anger you're stuck in that one point in your life,” she says.
The attack in such a public place – one that should be safe – was seemingly senseless. Ashley and her family say you can't make sense of it.
“I don't know why it happened, I don't know why they chose me and Wesley, and I'll never know and that's okay,” she says.
But she says she is at peace with that. And somewhat surprisingly she says she wants to share that peace with two specific people: The suspects.
“If I can hold this kind of peace being the victim, if they could just imagine the kind of peace they could hold,” she says.
And there's a message for Wesley: After all, he did rescue her from Riverwalk to get her to the hospital, even though his injuries are so bad he's still there.
“He's just our knight in shiing armor,” her mother says. “They didn't have cell phones at that point and they could have bled to death there on Riverwalk and been found later. He saved her life. There's no doubt in my mind he saved her life.”
And even though it was only their first date, that makes someone very special.
“I can't really explain the attachment,” Ashley says. “It's not a crush or anything like that. It's this attachment I feel to him that I just need to get back to him.”