Holly was born to Tony and Faith Escalera in Barfield in 1993. Holly's father was a high school drama teacher at Miduna Beach High School, and her mother had been making plans to open her own cupcake store before falling pregnant with Holly in 1992 and deciding to put her cupcake store plans on hold. When Holly was two and a half, she found out her parents were going to have another little girl, and Holly was instantly excited and fell in love with her before she was even born. Her little sister, Stella, was born in October of 1995 and following that, Holly would spend most of her time around her baby sister, even sharing toys and trying to share food with her, despite being yelled at from her parents for that. Holly and her family moved to 14 Topaz Avenue, Miduna Beach in March of 1996, where Holly lived for the rest of her childhood.
No matter how much she tried to deny it, Holly's mother had never been really comfortable with having kids, and as much as she tried to be a loving, caring mother; it never came naturally to her. Holly never really felt close to her mother, and her father spent most of his time busy with work and extra-curricular activities to help pay off their bills. Without much of a parental influence around, Holly took to reading, and although he didn't know, she'd often sneak down the hall while her dad was watching documentaries and she'd hide beside the couch and watch them too. She was very naturally curious about things and loved learning.
In 1999, Holly's second sister, Maria was born, and although Holly and Stella both loved her dearly, Holly was old enough to notice that her parents were arguing more, being almost seven at the time. On a few occasions she heard her parents mention that Maria looked too dark, and that she was different. Her parents had no idea she sat up in her bed at night listening to them fighting, but then again, they weren't really paying enough attention to notice. By the time Holly was ten, she tried to do everything for her sisters, despite knowing that she couldn't. Still, whenever her parents would start arguing, Holly would take her sisters out to the park down the road, even if it meant getting in trouble from her parents for leaving without permission or supervision.
Finally, in 2002, Mr. and Mrs. Escalera decided to celebrate their anniversary with a family trip to Egypt, hoping that some time away from home might be good for their relationship issues. While not much changed between them, Holly became fascinated by all of the pyramids and once she got home, she tried to get her parents to buy her as many books about ancient Egypt as she could. Her dad noticed her enthusiasm for this, and finally decided to let her stay up with him sometimes to watch documentaries about ancient cultures, or if they were on too late, he would record them for her. This one small act of kindness was enough to make Holly feel some sort of connection with her father, who for the most part, hadn't made much of an impact on her life.
In high school, Holly finally felt like she belonged, even if she spent most of her time alone with a few friends who weren't all that talkative. She was shy, but the instant she was asked to talk about one of her interests in class, she was immediately on it, and her teachers often loved her for making insightful contributions to class discussions. Holly reveled in her new-found appreciation and worked exceptionally hard in all of her classes. She did so well in school that she earned herself a scholarship at University of Miduna Beach, which was great, because despite getting a job at Miduna Beach Fruit Market in her senior year of high school, she knew there was no way she could afford it.
She attended UMB and continued working while still living at home. Occasionally her parents would start fighting again, but if things got really serious they would send Stella and Maria to stay with their grandmother, while Holly, who was busy working and with uni was stuck there listening to their arguments at night. She eventually grew sick of it and started looking for apartments in late 2013, before finding a very small one she could afford on Ocean View Drive, Miduna Beach. She moved out and finally started to enjoy her independence. She started seeing an older man as well, named Michael, but as much as she liked his company, she struggled to find any romantic feelings for him, even if she referred to him as her boyfriend.
They were 'dating' for a few months until Michael got transferred back to Florida for his job and the two of them decided to call it off. Although Holly was a little upset afterwards, it was more to do with not having anyone to keep her company than it was feeling sad about breaking up. She soon got over this, and decided to devote more time to herself. She met Brooke Vincent in the summer of 2014 while she was out at the beach and the two of them became instant friends. A few months later, she decided to dye her hair blonde for no reason, and she finally got a call from one of her dream jobs, working as a tour guide in the Natural History Museum of Lebeaux. Holly accepted and for the few months until her lease expired, she traveled between Miduna Beach and Lebeaux almost everyday.
She moved in October after her lease expired, to a nicer apartment in Lebeaux. Since working in Lebeaux, she became even closer with her friend Brooke, and even met someone at work (whom she later found out was one of her former teachers) named Rory Bales. The two of them hung out at work, before deciding to get dinner, and since then they have continued to spend more time together. In November 2014, Holly broke her leg after slipping on a wet floor, and her sister, Stella moved in with her while she recovered, helping her out everywhere. Brooke also spent time with her and was the first to figure out that Holly had a crush on her co-worker, Rory.