Student or Learner
She had been with him until a very few hours before his death, as she had been with him for half his life, with a devotion and submissive tenderness that bore too close a resemblance to love, and without anyone knowing anything about it in this sleepy provincial capital where even state secrets were common knowledge. [...]
She cleaned and straightened the laboratory once a week, but not even the most evil-minded neighbors confused appearance with reality because they, like everyone else, supposed that Jeremiah de Saint-Amour’s disability affected more than his capacity to walk.
(Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez)
Have I understood the part in bold right?
It could have appeared to some evil-minded neighbors that her cleaning the laboratory once a weak might have included more than such, that this was just an excuse for them to be able to spend some time together, so to say. But no one thought that what appeared (appearance) to be possible could have really been so (reality).