“I’m going to the men’s room,” Barry said.
Jung-Ho stared up at him, expressionless. His objection didn’t need to be articulated.
“What?” Barry said. “We’ve been sitting here for a long time. I have to go to the bathroom.”
“I can take you on the way out.”
Barry rolled his eyes. “Come on, Jung-Ho. We’re both grown men. Do you really want to be my escort to the men’s room?”
Jung-Ho let out a sigh. He glanced momentarily down at the screen of his cell phone. Whatever he was discussing there, it was important.
“You wouldn’t be thinking about sneaking out and running away, would you, Barry?” Jung-Ho said.
Barry could tell that Jung-Ho’s suspicions were purely pro-forma. So he gave him a pro-forma response.
“I don’t think so, Jung-Ho. What would I do? Jump on a bus and say, ‘please take me to the border’? You’re forgetting that I don’t speak Korean. And with my height and blond hair, I’d stick out like a sore thumb.”
Jung-Ho seemed to think about this very briefly. Then he nodded at Barry and grunted.
“Don’t be long. The exhibition is almost over.”
“I’ll be right back.”
Jung-Ho grunted again.
Barry had the sense, though, that Jung-Ho was barely aware of him. Whatever’s on his mind, Barry thought, it’s something big.