Happily Ever After: Tasha and Zay

Good Morning America hopes to make the hearts of romantics pound a little faster with five true-life love stories — including the tale of how Tasha Mckenny and Zay Collier became sweethearts after spending years as close friends.

Meet the second couple introduced in the Good Morning America and WeddingChannel "Happily Ever After" Event, Tasha Mckenny and Zay Collier.

Playmates

In Tasha's letter to GMA, she says: "We have a pretty unique story. We have known each other all of our lives. Thirty years ago, my parents bought a home in Maryland. When they moved in they introduced themselves to their next door neighbors, who are now Zay's parents. Ever since that day, they remained best friends, as did the children."

That's right, Zay was the boy next door.

He and Tasha were playmates and backyard buddies. But when they grew up Zay moved to California to be a computer consultant, and Tasha started her own beauty business near home in Maryland.

In this case, it seems the mothers did know best. The mothers, both Ph.D.s, were determined that their children had chemistry.

"I think that's one of the funny parts about how our relationship came to be is that our mothers helped remove the blinders from our eyes so that we could see that we were the right people for each other, says Zay. "And the fact that it is something we hadn't explored, I think is hilarious."

Long Distance Love

It took phones, flights, computers and FedEx to get the two together.

"We would talk everyday for four hours, we'd e-mail constantly and take turns flying to one another once per month," Tasha says. "At one point, he became so busy at work that I even started cooking full course meals with dessert and mailing them to him overnight!"

That first special delivery of smothered chicken, macaroni and cheese, and apple crisp sealed the deal — you might call it love at first bite.

Zay says he loves Tasha's passion: "Everything she does she puts her heart into it tremendously," he says.

"The things I love most about Zay, I think he is a very kind and gentle person," says Tasha. "I feel like I can go to him as my best friend and partner."

"My life with Zay is still like a dream to me," he says. "I feel that we have this special connection and undying love for one another that can't even begin to put into words. We were planning to get married next year. However, it would be even more of a dream to share it with you!"

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