Not every fairy tale begins with "once upon a time."
Corey and Missy Holifield are proof of this. Their story didn't begin the traditional way but has blossomed into a lifelong love.
They met when Missy was 15 years old and Corey was 13. They rode the bus together and although Missy always had stars in her eyes, Corey didn't know that she thought of him as more than a friend.
"In high school I'd sign the bottom of my notes with 'Mrs. Holifield,'" said Missy. "Little did I know that six or seven years later I would be Mrs. Holifield."
"Little did I know that all along it was an open door," said Corey.
Little did they know, indeed.
But it seemed that the door closed when Corey met someone else and got engaged. Missy moved to Jackson for college and got engaged as well. But then Corey's engagement was called off, and later that year, Missy's was as well.
Corey learned that his old friend was single and took a chance, inviting her to his birthday party. They both remember that night well.
"It was like time stood still," recalled Corey. "Almost like no time had passed."
Less than one month later, on February 10, Corey asked the question Missy had been longing to hear for almost ten years. Of course, she accepted his proposal and the two enjoyed a simple wedding with a handful of family and friends.
Now they have been married for over 20 years. Two decades of wedded bliss and two beautiful children later and the couple is as in love as the day they said "I do."
Missy said her friends often ask for advice on how to have a successful marriage. She explained that honesty is the most important thing.
"I tell him everything and he tells me everything, even when it hurts," Missy said. "Never fall out of love. Never stop having butterflies."